Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Best photo opp ... EVER!

Euphoria! Joy! Relief!

Oh, the wonderful range of emotions of the last 24 hours. Last night was amazing, and I envy all those who were in Chicago in person for America's, and the world's, big party at Grant Park.

It came as no surprise that every newsstand in downtown Atlanta was void of newspapers today -- my colleague John and I trolled eBay and before 8 a.m. there were already dozens of listings for what will become coveted newspaper bits of history. My favorite front page remains the New York Times, the first spotted in my driveway (it is a keeper!).

Watching last night, my favorite moments included John Lewis from Georgia (he was also on NPR this morning), and spotting Jesse Jackson's reaction just past 11 p.m. ET on CNN and WGN's local crews in The Windy City (caught a small dose from Chicago's NBC5 as well). The Daily Show had a few great moments, too. Fox News seemed remarkably subdued. I was pleased with McCain's speech (and actually proud of him -- those who wrote it did amazing work). I was inspired and moved by Obama's wise and timeless words.

Viewing with the public relations practitioner hat on, have been searching all day for photos of the massive media tents overfilled with live cameras rolling for all the world -- what an awe-inspiring photo opportunity with East Randolph Street's gleaming towers including Aon Center behind Obama's victory stage. I've seen some large press conferences over the years, and last night's event was like no other.

By mid-morning Wednesday, media reports started popping up about how Chicago's hours in the spotlight may work wonders for the city's 2016 Olympic bid (from what I can tell, the Associated Press and the LA Times' Philip Hersh earned the scoop on this angle). Just a few minutes ago (about 10:30 ET tonight) the New York Times added their two cents (by Juliet Macur) to outlets reporting on remarks from Japan and Tokyo's bid. It took me back to Patrick Ryan's answer to my question at the Bid Cities press event in Beijing ... I think Mr. Ryan may be able to sleep a bit easier now that Chicago got some limelight, Obama-style.

Some of the wire photos from the big event are comparable to the night shots from the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin, or the evening skyline shots from Beijing with postcard-ready fields of spotlights ablaze over the scene. Check out the Chicago Tribune photos here, then go to these shots from Berlin and Beijing.

Journaling last night as the coverage was winding down (or settling in awaiting decisions on senators like hopeful Al Franken -- hang in their, Al!), I could not help but ponder how amazing it would be to see President Obama declare open the Games of Chicago in eight years. Could be Chicago's only way to top last night for "best photo opp - EVER!"

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