First published at WashingtonTimes.com
CHICAGO — That is Patrick Kennedy of La Porte, Indiana.
I saw him twice in Grant Park, and both times he had tears streaming down his face.
I used him in my story about Barack Obama's hopeful message that brought him to where he is today - President elect.
CHICAGO | The skinny kid with the funny name will forever be a part of history.
The crowd that gathered Tuesday night to catch a glimpse of Sen. Barack Obama as he reached a triumphant end to his "improbable" journey was massive. His supporters recognized that they were witnessing a major change in the way Americans view race.
Patrick Kennedy hoisted his arms into the air, unfurling a brightly painted canvas sign with a simple message for the people waiting to hear Mr. Obama give his victory speech: "We have overcome."
Mr. Kennedy, a white, 35-year-old history teacher, had tears streaming down his face when he explained that he believed he was seeing a moment of national unity.
"It's been a long struggle," he said, wiping at his wet eyes and apologizing for his emotional response. "No more fire hoses, no more dogs. As a student of history, to know what our country has gone through to get to this moment. A person of color has ascended to the highest position in the world and been judged not on his color but on his creed. On who he is. This is amazing."
Mr. Kennedy, one of thousands of early arrivals in Chicago's Grant Park, described himself as a "Hoosier guy in the heart of Indiana."
"I don't think race matters anymore," he said. "We've transcended race and we've got a job to do now."
Read the full story here.
After giving his victory speech, Obama briefly talked to donors in an unplanned event that was not open to the press. I wrote up that and some emotional voter reaction here.
Our main story on the results here.
BarackObama.com has been transformed into a thank-you page that also solicits DNC donations.
The site's message:
You proved that change can happen. You built an unprecedented grassroots organization in all 50 states that brought a record number of people into the political process -- many for the first time, many for the first time in a long time.
Our success required unprecedented resources, and our the Democratic National Committee played a major role on the ground efforts that generated record turnout up and down the ticket.
Please make a donation to the DNC to help fund the efforts it undertook in 2008.
When you donate $30 or more, you’ll receive a limited edition shirt to show your support for change.
Here's one image from tonight of the entire Obama and Biden families on stage. I also shot a bunch of video that is uploading now, and I'll put it up in the morning after a few hours of sleep.
Here's the one clip I got up earlier tonight.
— Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times
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