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More than two hundred thousand of Barack Obama's supporters gather in Chicago

November 4, 2008 |  8:16 pm

More than 250,000 people have gathered at Chicago's Grant Park along the Lake Michigan shoreline to celebrate the presumed victory of Barack Obama. The Times' P.J. Huffstutter is there. She sent The Ticket this report:

Giant video screens at the scene are tuned to CNN. Each time the network projected a state as an Obama win, the crowd erupted in cheers. The battleground states produced the loudest roars -- first Pennsylvania, then New Hampshire, then Ohio, which CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer described as a "huge, huge win.”

(UPDATE: Complete text of Pres.-elect Obama's speech is available here.)

The city's skyscrapers have stayed lit for the occasion. On one, some windows were left darkened to form a pattern reading U.S.A. on the glass. Lights atop a nearby South Michigan Avenue hotel were red, white and blue, a celebration taking place on a rooftop terrace overlooking the mass of humanity.

Obama will speak later tonight on a stage surrounded by 26 American flags in a semicircle. On either side of his lectern are thick sheets of clear barriers, a sign of the heightened security now surrounding him.

-- P.J. Huffstutter

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