All by himself…

McCain’s planning a rather unorthodox election night tableau. From the AP:

Instead of appearing before a throng of supporters at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix on the evening of Nov. 4, the Republican presidential nominee plans to deliver postelection remarks to a small group of reporters and guests on the hotel’s lawn. …

McCain’s remarks will be piped electronically into the party and media filing center, aides said. Only a small press “pool” — mostly those who have traveled regularly with the candidate on his campaign plane, plus a few local Arizona reporters and others — will be physically present when he speaks.

There are two ways this can play out. Either McCain gives a concession speech without a blow-softening penumbra of supporters, which I’m guessing will look sad and lonely. Or—um, less likely—he gives a victory speech to a handful of silent reporters and cameras, which will probably look like a bizzaro world presidential address. Weird.

Meanwhile, construction workers are already readying Chicago’s Grant Park for Obama’s election night event.

Will our pundits be able to resist rehashing the “Celebrity” narrative? No.

UPDATE: A campaign aide is claiming that McCain will, in fact, have 2,000 select supporters outside with him. Still, I bet Obama breaks 100,000, given the confluence of hometown and the historic.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.