Last night in Chicago, Marvin Nicholson, the national trip director for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, left Obama’s birthday present in a taxicab.
Obama turns 47 today. For his 46th birthday last year, the senior campaign staff bought him an iPod. His staff would not disclose what this year’s present is (or was) or even what shopping bag it was in when it vanished last night.
"The cab was yellow," recalls Nicholson, who took the cab from a friend’s house to the Palmer House Hilton Hotel where the campaign staff was staying.
He does not remember the name of the driver. "Usually I engage with the drivers, talk to them," says Nicholson. "But this guy was rocking out to 70s songs and he was singing so I didn’t get a chance to talk to the guy."
Nicholson has spent much of today phoning around Chicago. "I’ve learned that pretty much every yellow cab in the city belongs to the Yellow Cab Company," he says.
Nicholson also lost his suitcase in the incident, which occurred, he said, because he was distracted by the warm greetings of the hotel doormen.
The former personal assistant to candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, in 2004 is 6′ 8" and has to get his ties, shirts, and pants at special tall men’s shops. So it will be a minor ordeal to replace the seven shirts, eight pairs of pants, and 4-5 ties he lost along with the senator’s special gift.