UPDATE: Brendan e-mails this: "Finding a place to write is like finding a place to do just about anything right now, which is to say impossible."
And sends these pictures.
Me inside the U.S. Senate, where security is good but, once you’re in, you can run around to your heart’s content. The doors are about ten feet tall.
Some clever marketing in D.C., not too far from the Corcoran Gallery of Art. (Superimposed in the background: "A Great New Look for a Great New Era.")
I met these folks from Bell County (city of Killeen, Texas) and they asked for me to take their picture. They explained that they were loyal democrat voters for years and really pushed for Obama in neighboring districts and their own. Hooray for battleground states.
Barack’s mug on the front of the Corcoran Gallery, as part of Richard Avedon’s "Portraits of Power" exhibit–phenomenal shots, really timeless. Had a great pair of three photos (MLK III, Joe Louis’ hand, and Malcolm X) that I’ll write more about later.
This morning, circa 7am. I traveled on foot from what is technically Arlington; you can see the capitol in the background. Streets became a complete mess around metro stations, and a friend in my group (which I lost rather quickly) told me that the DC metro was beyond capacity by about 6:15am (courtesy his iPhone). Crowds were the worst at Seventh Street approaching the capitol along the east side of the Mall; people got out of the metro joined people pressing forward, and police started blocking off some all-access areas due to capacity at around the same spot. Luckily…
C-VILLE got closer! This is a photo from the spiral-shaped line that flanked the east side of the U.S. Capitol, for people who had "Orange" tickets (everything was color-coded). All lines moved reasonably well, and security was VERY quick and reasonably efficient. (They didn’t check the top pocket in my laptop case.)
Obama! On one of a ton of big screens that ran along the Mall, starting along either side of the reflecting pool and running north to the capitol. For a lot of people, getting "closer" just meant looking at a different screen. (Technically, I could see everyone live, but it was a close call.)
Mobs fleeing the city towards the Seventh Street metro.
A good finale shot: Dude holding a homemade "’76" flag (1776, I imagine) on the land surrounding the Washington Monument. In the background, port-a-potties. (There were loads of ’em, lines were decent, and the johns were clean. I checked.)
Rarely a man of few words, Brendan had us concerned when we hadn’t heard from him in a few hours. We texted: "How’s it going?" He replies, "Super good. Millions in ecstasy. More later today!"
After a bit more prodding on our part, he adds: "Have internet for the moment. Am uploading photos and an mp3 from ‘correspondent in the field.’" Stay tuned.
Thanks to the wonders of text messaging, we already have a few dispatches from Brendan Fitzgerald. The schedule for the day, he tells us, is "Musical intro starts @ 10, program @ 11:30, address @ noon. My press pass," he adds, "looks like a prom invitation."
Perhaps that’s fitting when we have a date with destiny!
And in other news, he writes, on a tiny telephone screen, "In Orange line, adjacent to east side of Capitol. 2 hrs on foot, through other access lines for ticketholders & press. Saw NFL coach Tony Dungy."