Romney's Boston headquarters cloaked in secrecy ahead of election day

2012-11-05 04:31:59 GMT2012-11-05 12:31:59(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BOSTON, the United States, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- With just two days to go before U.S. voters head to the polls, the world'attention is now focusing on the city of Boston where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has kept his campaign headquarters and plans to hold an election night rally.

The Romney campaign's national nerve center, a nondescript gray building at 585 Commercial Street in the North End of Boston, overlooks a slow-running Charles River with bobbing white yachts moored at a marina to the opposite side.

Except for the large numeral "585", there are no other descriptive signs or words on the facade of the three-story gray facility to tell visitors that it actually houses the main campaign offices of the man who aspires to be the next leader of the United States.

Even a random scrutiny over dozens of vehicles in the adjacent parking lot did not yield anything -- not even a bumper sticker -- that could provide a hint to the former governor's presidential endeavor.

Romney made his hometown Boston the site of his national campaign headquarters in 2006, shortly before his gubernatorial term in Massachuttes ended in 2007. His attempt to gain the Republican party's presidential nomination in the 2008 presidential election failed. But his campaigning for the 2012 nomination eventually succeeded.

Over the past few months, Romney spent most of his time travelling across the country, in particular in swing states, with little time to be seen at his headquarters in the quiet Boston neighborhood.

Passing the unguarded revolving door was easy. But further access into the building was blocked by a security cell with a small window. A burly security guard insisted that an appointment was needed before making a visit and provided a phone number which later turned out to be linked to an automatic answering machine.

During the slow noon time, there were few passers-by. Sometimes, young men and women in casual clothes were seen filing in and out, but a few inquiries were met with polite declines.

Ricardo Trotti, a journalist with Argentina's La Voz del Interior newspaper, was by no means more fortunate in his attempted visit to the presidential candidate's turf.

Most of his colleagues were sent to Chicago to cover President Barack Obama's election night event, while he hasn't been successful in securing any credential from the Romney team. "They (the Romney campaign) are organizing a luck draw among people who make a donation to decide who will be granted access to the election night party," he told Xinhua, a hint of disappointment in his tone.

"Maybe I will have to watch it on TV in my hotel," he said.

Contrary to the reclusive mood of the campaign's headquarters, the candidate's planned election night venue, a 15-minute drive to the south, was a hive of activity.

The Grand Ball Room on the third floor of the 210 million square-foot Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), will be the site of the Romney campaign's election night party on Nov. 6.

On Sunday, preparations for the overnight event were apparently in an early stage. Workers wearing hard hats were seen busy moving, installing and drilling; men who looked like engineers were fine-tuning audio-visual and light equipments; photographers moved up and down a media riser in search of an opportune angle.

A blue banner hanging over the rostrum reads "Believe in America", giving a hint to the theme of the election night party.

Campaign officials have said that Romney and his vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan will be here with supporters to await the final results of the presidential election. The "main Romney event" at the BCEC will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. starting on Election Night, reports said.

Latest polls have shown that Romney and Obama are virtually dead even. It could be a long and slow night at the south Boston facility.

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