Guardian America journalist Richard Adams had two reasons to celebrate on Tuesday evening. All the signs were that Barack Obama was set to win the election, and his wife had given birth to their first child – a baby boy.
They were holding their new-born baby in a Washington DC hospital room when they saw Obama give his moving victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park on the TV – and they both agreed that the baby’s middle name had to be Barack.
Mum Elizabeth Stuart is a former Guardian journalist who has also worked as producer for the BBC. Adams is an editor on the Guardian website Comment is Free and was previously a leader writer for the paper in London.
Dad Richard has been at the Guardian’s Washington bureau for two years and says that all the time he has been working towards 4 November. The auspicious day started for him in an unexpected way – at 4am with the news from his wife that her waters had broken.
He said: ‘My first thought was: that’s fantastic, my second thought was Oh God, it’s 4am on election day.”
He said the TV was on in the delivery room and baby Lawrence arrived at 7pm Eastern Time – just as the polls were closing.
‘By the time everything was over, and all the tests had been done, we were back in our room and were giving Lawrence his first feed with a bottle when Barack gave his acceptance speech –it was pretty amazing. We both said: his middle name has to be Barack.”
News has swept around the mainly Democrat-voting hospital staff making the trio minor celebrities. Adams admits: ‘We’ve had fantastic service”.
Baby Lawrence’s first name is after Guardian economics editor Larry Elliott.
He weighed in at 6lb 3 ounces and was three weeks premature – having had a due date of 25 November.
Adams said: ‘He just wanted to get in on the election action. He’ll be an American citizen, even though we are both British, so he could run for president in 2048 or whatever.”