SixFifty

lessons from America

Buying a piece of history

The [unofficial] merchandise sellers were in full force in the streets surrounding Grant Park. And I picked up some great stuff: Obama beanies (hats), a big button with Obama’s image and the words ‘thank you’ on it; another which simply says “yes we did”.  But this was all tame compared to the scenes the following day.  Everyone wanted to get their hands on the special editions of the Chicago newspapers – the Tribune and the Sun Times.  All the newstands and stores had long since sold out by the time I got up.  And I wasn’t the only one scanning every sidewalk and metro carriage for one. 

The Tribune rose to the occasion though.  They started churning out extra copies and distributing them across the city.  The trouble was, as soon as a delivery arrived they were instantly snapped up.  A van was arriving every 30mins or so straight from the printing presses to the Tribune HQ in downtown Chicago.  I joined the queues outside the building waiting patiently to get their copy.  Some people were just buying a couple; others more for friends and family; and budding entrepreneurs were buying up bundles of 20 to sell on the streets for many times the cost price.  In the end I bought 5 copies, plus a few souvenir posters as well.

Update:  As I passed through Baltimore Airport to fly back to London, I noticed the newsagents there were still selling copies of Wednesday’s election special edition of the Washington Post.  Needless to say, I purchased a copy; along with the Newsweek and Time magazine specials.  Those two magazines embed reporters with each candidate and every four years, immediately after the election, produce a wonderfully rich and insider account of the each of the campaigns.  Worth getting hold of a copy, especially Newsweek.

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November 8, 2008 - Posted by | On the Campaign Trail

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