Both of Chicago's major dailies have sold out editions containing special "commemorative" sections devoted to Barack Obama. Judging by today's Chicago Tribune, perhaps the strategy is to push out an Obama commemorative issue every day.
The top half of the front page includes a huge color photo of a smiling Obama in a Chicago deli yesterday, a color picture of Obama with one of his daughters, and a color shot of a Chicago crowd watching Obama's motorcade speed by. "At home: A brief taste of normalcy" is the accompanying story and it notes:
On Friday, he made time to leave the office briefly to pick up a corned beef sandwich and cherry pie from Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli, a favorite spot for Chicago politicians.
"I'm just glad to be out," Obama said amid applause and shouts of congratulations from surprised diners.
Yet the roughly 15-minute stop seemed more designed to provide a media photo opportunity—the first in nearly a week—than to let the president-elect step out for some fresh air.
Obama has made clear that he wants quality time with family before he is sworn in Jan. 20 as the 44th president.
As he settled into his new homebody life, aides had suggested a block of time for political calls during evening hours when his two daughters are still awake. That didn't fly.
"He said, 'Can we back that up, guys?' " an aide said. "He wanted to read to them and tuck them in, so we do the calls a little bit later."
Obama is a man of discipline and routine, and he has had exactly that in recent days, even finding time Wednesday evening to watch his daughter in a performance at a Michigan Avenue theater.
After his morning workout, Obama typically heads into his transition office in the Loop between 9 and 10 a.m. Most days, he's home by about 6 p.m. The trade-off, of course, is that he has lost some of the few freedoms he had before the election.
Talk about multitasking. He makes deli appearances, he tucks his children into bed, he work outs, he transitions. Is there nothing this "man of discipline and routine" doesn't do?
You wouldn't know it by reading the Tribune. The front page also includes the headline "Market soars on Treasury choice: Obama selects New York Fed chief, solidifies his economic team." We learn that Obama's shrewd move "sent the Dow Jones industrial rocketing up." Gee, that's funny. Ever since Obama won, the markets have generally been dropping faster than Bill Clinton's shorts, but Obama wasn't blamed for it. Now the markets bounce back a little and he's The One responsible.
Additionally, the Trib's page one has a color shot of Hillary Clinton with the headline "Senator 'on track' to be secretary of state." And if that isn't enough Barack for you, the front page plugs a sports section story: "Obama makes splash with Olympic video." The first section of the paper has, on page 15, a picture of admirers waiting for the Obamamobile as well as yet another one of Barry waving to fans in the deli.
What we're witnessing is Obamamania on steroids among the mainstream media. Perhaps the Tribune or another enterprising news outlet will come up with a special audio commemorative for Obama, something starting with "Come Let Us Adore Him."