Obama’s Chicago Crew: A Last ‘Anxious’ Day at an Empty Office

CHICAGO–The preferred meeting spot for Obama staffers here is the Cosi chain restaurant at the foot of the elevator leading to Obama headquarters inside 233 North Michigan (“the most complete office environment”).

On Election Day, the last day of work, essentially, economic adviser Austan Goolsbee chatted with regional finance director Jordan Kaplan and his fiancee, New York finance director Jenny Yeager, who flew into Chicago a few hours earlier.

Campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter talked with two reporters at table before running to meet Michelle Obama.

The Obama people didn’t look especially nervous, though Goolsbee said the office had a weird feeling because “it was all emptied out up there.”

Kaplan said people were “anxious all day.”

They stocked up on sodas and snacks on the way back up to headquarters, which had been inundated by volunteers working the phone banks and calling undecided voters in swing states. (“All those racists who pretend to be undecided,” said volunteer Susan Obler, 70, a consultant from Chicago.)

Yeager, who wore an Obama shirt, told a couple from Seattle she didn’t know how they could get tickets for tonight’s big party but thanked them for their support.

When asked directly how he felt about the day, (Excited? Nervous? Nostalgic?) Goolsbee, a former debate champion, said he needed permission from Obama press team before he could comment. Then he went back up to the emptied-out office.

Obama’s Chicago Crew: A Last ‘Anxious’ Day at an Empty Office