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Last Updated: Sunday November 09 2008 16:57 GMT

Adam's American Election diary

Adam on his Laptop

We've been hearing about them for ages, and at last the US Elections are finally here... well, almost.

In just a few days John McCain and Barack Obama will go head-to-head for the final time, as America goes to the polls.

Newsround's Adam is at the centre of the action to keep YOU up-to-date with everything that happens.

Here's what he's been getting up to....


8 November

Adam with some Young Marines in Washington
It's my last day in Washington DC. They are getting ready for Veterans Day on Tuesday, which is the American version of Remembrance Day.

I met some Young Marines who were laying a wreath at the national memorial to World War 2 just round the corner from the White House.

At the White House they are getting ready for President Obama moving in on 20 January.

They are building big banks of seats in the square outside for the Inauguration - that's when Barack Obama will officially become President. Hundreds of thousands of people will be packed into the city to see the big, impressive ceremony.

Adam and President Abe Lincoln
And finally here is a comedy picture of me and President Lincoln. He's considered to be one of the most important presidents in history.

After this truly historic week, people are asking if President Obama is going to be one of those too.....

6 November

Adam with his cheeseburger
This is the most historic cheeseburger EVER!

I tucked into it after election night here in the US. Sonali told me to have one before I went to sleep.

I was awake for 30 hours throughout the big night and have just got up after sleeping for an amazing 15 hours. Maybe that's the longest nap in history ever!

People here are starting to get back to normal after electing the country's first African American president. And President-Elect Obama (that's his title until he takes over officially on January 20th) is starting a scary-sounding process called Transition - where he picks his team to help him when he is in charge.

People from the current government are also briefing him on how you actually run the country. And the coolest bit? The spies tell him all sorts of top secret stuff.

But I think the biggest topic of conversation is the presidential puppy that he has promised to buy his daughters Sasha and Malia when they move into the White House!

The current president's wife, Laura Bush, has invited them and Mrs Obama to Washington to take a look round their new home.

It seems like there aren't any hard feelings between Obama and President Bush - even though the Pres was rooting for the other side to win!

5 November

He's done it! Barack Obama has become the 44th president of the USA and the first black man to get the job.

I was watching his acceptance speech on the TV at midnight. It was really emotional. Straight away I could hear car horns beeping in the street so I headed down to the White House.

There were hundreds of people gathered in the street for a totally random, unplanned party.

There were balloons, some life-sized Obama cut-outs and lots of chants of "Yes we can!" which is Obama's catch-phrase.

A pick-up truck drove past with a kid playing a trombone in the back!

The sense of excitement in this country right now is immense. I just bumped into an African American guy who summed it all up by saying: "Just shows… anything is possible now."

I'll be back with another update when this historic, momentous, unprecedented, incredible news has sunk in a bit more

4 November

It's finally here. After months of the candidates giving speeches, shaking hands, handing out badges, being on TV - it's time for Americans to vote.

Adam next to a polling sign
It's time for Americans to vote
I went to visit a polling station just round the corner from where I am staying in Washington DC.

Today, there are also elections happening for different bits of government - like local councils.

There were quite a lot of supporters from both parties standing outside trying to convince people to vote for their guy. Someone was even handing out free doughnuts!

It's weird to think that such a momentous thing comes down to some people queuing up, going into a booth and pressing a button on a voting machine.

Exactly the same is happening in school halls, libraries and government buildings all across this massive country.

And how exciting is it that next time you hear from me, America could have picked a new President?!

3 November

Adam with the Culpeper Star-Exponent
Can you believe that I am sharing the front page of a newspaper with Barack Obama and John McCain the day before the election?!

Seriously - I am not kidding.

The local paper in the town of Culpeper, in the state of Virginia where our Pres Packers live has got a story about me paying them a visit.

The Culpeper Star-Exponent says: "Adam Fleming, a Children's British Broadcasting Corporation reporter, has never met... the students face to face, but he has interviewed them before thanks to their teachers and some state-of-the-art technology."

And it's right there on the same page as Obama and McCain going head to head in this historic election. I wonder if either of them has read it.....?

Anyway, it was great fun to finally meet the guys who have been sending us webcam videos throughout the campaign. I promise to tell you all about it soon.

2 November

Ok, it's getting serious now.

A few days ago you could talk to people and maybe the presidential election wouldn't come up in conversation but now EVERYONE is talking about it ALL THE TIME.

Most people I've been speaking to are strong supporters of either John McCain or Barack Obama. They say they would be happy if their guy won, but VERY unhappy if the other guy got the job of President.

The McFetridge Bulldogs
The McFetridge Bulldogs in action
Today I reached Obama's home city - Chicago, in the state of Illinois. It's famous for being cold so I decided to find the coldest place I could - the ice rink.

I dropped in on the McFetridge Bulldogs u12's ice hockey team as they were training. Here are a few of the words they used to describe this whole election: crazy, amazing, crazy (again), brutal, historic, crazy (AGAIN!).

Some other cool Chicago stuff.....

Adam at The Bean sculpture
Adam checks out at The Bean sculpture
Here is a pic of the giant sculpture known round here as "The Bean". It reflects the city skyline. It's very weird but very cool. Barack Obama's campaign are planning a massive election night party in the park just a few blocks away.

And you will not believe the pizzas they have there. They're more like big cheese pies. I was full after eating just a quarter of a small one. (Check out the before and after pics - and don't worry... I shared the rest).

Adam and his very filling pizza
Adam before and after his pizza in Chicago

31 October

You have never seen anything like it: Halloween in the USA.

Adam and Colin
Adam went trick or treating with Colin
I have always heard that it's much bigger here than in the UK, but I never realised quite how huge it is.

I have been visiting the town of Rockford in Illinois - Barack Obama's home state. I went trick or treating with Colin who is a massive Obama fan. Check out his Dallas Cowboys American football outfit. Very cool.

He got loads of sweets (except they call it "candy" here) and the streets were totally packed with people in fancy dress.

Adam helps Colin to carve a pumpkin
Carving pumpkins isn't easy
Some of the houses had THE most amazing decorations, that took weeks to put up.

The big craze amongst Obama supporters at the moment is to carve a pumpkin in the shape of his name and campaign logo - so I helped Colin to make one.

Stay tuned to Newsround to see how we got on. (All I'll say is: it sounds waaaay easier than it really is, and that logo is nearly impossible!)

Adam sat next to a cat on the plane
And some random news...

Did you know you are allowed to take pets on planes with you in the US?

I found this out when I heard me-owing coming from under the seat next to me....

30 October

Adam with the John McCain cardboard cut-out
Adam makes a new friend
Today, I finally got to meet the Republican Party's candidate for President, John McCain.

Err, actually I just came face to face with a life-size cardboard cut out of him, from the time when he was serving in the air force during America's war in Vietnam in the 1960s.

I found it when I popped into his regional headquarters of his home town of Phoenix, in the state of Arizona.

I also got told off by one of his people for wearing "an illegal rucksack"! I wasn't quite sure what she meant...

Adam in the desert
But he's sick of the sight of cacti!
Phoenix is an absolutely massive sprawling city that goes on for miles and miles and miles.

It is also in the middle of a totally boiling desert, which means it's the perfect place for cacti to grow.

The most common are those famous ones that have arms sticking out, called saguados - pronounced "sa-wah-dos".

I have now seen enough of them to last me quite a long time.... "

29 October

Adam with his Obama burger
"I have arrived in the USA!

It's a really exciting time because everyone seems to talking about who to pick as the next President.

I had to choose myself at lunchtime - a John McCain Arizona Chicken Queso Burger or a Barack Obama Pizza Burger with mozzarella and basil?

I think the burgers were quite like the candidates - John McCain is from the South and quite spicy, but Obama is a bit trendier.

I picked the Obama-burger. It was very tasty. I promise to have the McCain one next time so that I am being fair.

THE CANDIDATES:
John McCain and Barack Obama

Last night hardly anyone was able to get away from Barack Obama because he's paid loads of money to run a 30-minute long advert on three main TV channels.

They even moved the start time of some sports events to accommodate it - which I don't think everyone is happy about.

I also made a quick trip to the White House - where the President lives.

Everyone says it is much smaller than it is on TV so I expected it to be totally tiny and was quite surprised when it turned out to be quite big!

The White House
Now I am getting on a plane to John McCain's home state of Arizona so that I can meet some of his supporters in his home town.

Because America is such a big country the flight takes FIVE hours... that's more than half the time it takes to get from the UK to the USA."

Adam