CHICAGO - A clump of reporters and photographers Thursday got a glimpse of the new Chicago headquarters for President Barack Obama's re-election effort. An entire floor at One Prudential Plaza, which looks out on the city's prized Millennium Park downtown, will be the campaign's home - only a few blocks from the 2008 headquarters.
Dozens of staff members began moving in Tuesday, but many empty seats are left to be filled in the coming months and the place is still a work in progress. One advantage, perhaps, to victory in 2008? The space is bigger than last time - some 50,000 square feet compared with about 31,000 square feet in the old place.
Campaign officials showed off the space to reporters under strict rules: no divulging the floor number and no quotations attributed to officials by name. But there were early traces of the fight ahead: a cluster of volunteers at computers, a few campaign signs, some state maps on the wall.
Jim Messina, a former deputy chief of staff at the White House, will serve as the campaign manager. The move to Chicago, campaign officials have said, is a concerted effort to distance the re-election effort from the world of Washington.