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16th and Fuller. Just down the street President-Elect Obama is inside an embassy. I cannot tell which one. The police have us at far corner. They keep us to the sidewalk. It’s 2:30 p.m. Our small group is a smart one. We waste the time dissecting the Florida recount and Katrina, and make Sarah Palin jokes (still funny almost), and whether Ben’s is getting gentrified. Cathy Moore has been waiting here since 12:30.
This scene is going to repeat itself for years. Police motorcycles rev up and then go quiet. We notice the two snipers on a roof. The street is blocked off. Everyone is waiting. A dude on a bike is turned away. A woman is scolded for initially ignoring an officer’s bark. The cops, though, are super polite.
It’s very boring. Moore offers a strategy for us all. It’s a good one and should be remembered: “Most important he sees us.” If he notices the well-dressed Moore (she couldn’t look any sweeter) and her multi-colored scarf, the group reasons maybe Obama will have his people stop.
At 2:35 p.m., the police start shouting: “Off the street!”
This must be it.
Four or five black Tahoes pull out onto a very quiet 16th Street. I dumbly ask: “Should we start waving?” Yes. Start waving.
We wave. I think I see Obama in one of the SUVs. I can’t be sure. Our Obama moment lasted a second. Still, Moore was all smiles.