Award-winning writer Bob Greene rode CNN's Election Express across the country in the final weeks of the campaign before the Election Express parked in Chicago.
ABOARD THE CNN EXPRESS
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - Well, that was quick.
On Election Night in Chicago, people in the immense crowd in Grant Park were talking about how the victory of Barack Obama might do the impossible: change forever the international political image of Illinois, make the world forget about the corruption that has for so long been associated with politics in the state, and particularly with politics in Chicago.
So much for that.
That was a warm and balmy November night in Grant Park - which in itself should have told you something: the shirtsleeves-in-November feeling had a when-pigs-fly quality to it - but this week there is sleet and wind and snow, a Chicago December week fit for neither man nor beast, which is to say: the usual, the expected. And in the federal courthouse just a few blocks from the Grant Park scene of civic pride and celebration, the weather had changed in more than the meteorological sense.