A group of Canadians are hoping to witness history in the making on Democratic candidate Barack Obama's turf.
04/11/2008 6:01:21 PM
Tim Burns and his wife Cleone Grasham met up with relatives and friends on Tuesday in Chicago, the Illinois senator's adopted hometown and where he is due to speak late in the evening once results are in.
The Torontonians are among many Canadians swept up in Obamamania who have travelled south to either help with the lengthy campaign or simply be there for the Nov. 4 election.
"We all really admire Obama," Burns told CBC News on the phone from Chicago. "It seems hackneyed but it is really inspirational what he's accomplished."
The plan to travel to the Windy City, ironically, was hatched during a conversation between Burns and his two siblings at a family reunion over the Canada Day weekend.
"We mused that [Obama] was probably going to [win] and it would be just fantastic if we could be in Chicago when he accomplished that. We made the promise then, and here we are," said Burns.
The group plans to enjoy some of the tourist attractions during the day before hitting a bar or restaurant to watch the election unfold on television.
They had hoped to get into Grant Park, where tens of thousands of supporters are expected for an Obama victory celebration, but may not be able to secure a much-coveted ticket to the event.
About 75,000 tickets were handed out by the Obama campaign, and Obama is due to give his speech there once the election is declared.
The 47-year-old Illinois senator cast his ballot at his voting precinct in Chicago early Tuesday morning, accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and their two young daughters.
National polls suggest Obama is poised to make history by becoming the first black president, though Republican candidate John McCain insisted that momentum was on his side to stage an upset victory.
A victory for McCain would also be historic, with his running mate, Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, becoming the first female vice-president and the 72-year-old McCain becoming the oldest president ever elected to a first term.