For about 10 minutes last night, U.S. Senator-elect Scott Brown sat behind a desk in the Presidential Suite of the Park Plaza Hotel, talking on the phone, nodding, smiling, chuckling, shooting the breeze.

For about 10 minutes last night, U.S. Senator-elect Scott Brown sat behind a desk in the Presidential Suite of the Park Plaza Hotel, talking on the phone, nodding, smiling, chuckling, shooting the breeze.


It seemed appropriate that the desk was oval shaped and the 15th-floor suite's name reflected the executive branch, as the person on the other end of the line was President Barack Obama.


It was about 9:38 p.m. and the phone call was one of the highlights of the events leading up to Brown's victory speech.


Brown sat behind closed glass French doors, and his wife, Gail Huff, poked her head out about two minutes into the 10-minute chat to inform everyone, "Scott and Obama are talking about basketball."


A minute later, she poked her head out again. "Oh, this is good! He just asked President Obama if he should bring his truck down and if he wants a ride."


The energy-level grew as word traveled around the room and people chuckled at the joke.


It all started about 8 p.m., with the arrival of Brown's retinue at the hotel.


At 8:38 p.m., Brown press secretary Felix Browne leaned against the bar where large silver coffee servers waited, watching the latest results on NECN.


"Fifty three percent (for Brown) to 46 percent," he said, nodding slowly. "That's good."


But too soon to celebrate.


Pausing, he pressed his cell phone to his ear, which seemed a permanent fixture during the night. "Where is he right now? Where is the candidate?" A brief conversation ensued. Finishing up, he returned his attention to the TV.


Moments later, Janet Leombruno, a Brown campaign staff member from Framingham, broke away from the various groupings of family, friends and staff members crowded into the suite with plans to join the crowd in the ballroom downstairs.


"I'm feeling very good. Very excited!" she said as a glass vase of exotic flowers was brought in, followed by a cart with an ice bucket and clean glasses. "I think Scott resonated with the people very early on in the campaign and then his momentum just built."


At 8:51 p.m., Brown arrived in the suite with his family in tow. Browne, the press secretary, worked to get everyone on some of the couches for the pool photo. "We have Ayla here. But no Arianna," he spoke into his phone.


"Arianna!" called out Brown's eldest daughter, Ayla, statuesque in a black evening gown, as she went to find her sister.


As family gathered for the photos and video, Brown traded handshakes and hugs, and spoke on his cell phone. He grabbed a cold can of Coca-Cola from the mini fridge in the suite's kitchenette.


Joining the group on the couches, he informed his staff members, "Gail can be in the shot. (The campaign) is over." Huff, a news reporter at WCVB-TV, had distanced herself from the campaign until that moment.


"Everyone, press pool here," Brown announced as everyone finally settled down. "You guys can all pull up chairs and stuff."


Smiles stretched from ear to ear as cameras flashed and video cameras recorded.


"This is history guys," said Vinnie Forras, watching from the kitchenette nearby.


A retired fire chief from Westchester, N.Y., Forras said he has been following Brown's campaign since the beginning and became a supporter. "We're a part of history here. The country has hope now. This is awesome."


With the photos over, Brown spent a few moments hanging out, shooting the breeze with family members. Arianna sat beside him, holding the family dog, Koda.


"It hasn't quite sunk in yet," Brown said as he sipped from his Coke. "I've been feeling anxious all day. I had an upset stomach, but it has started to settle down now. Having my family around is certainly nice, and is helping me stay focused."


Grinning, he added, "Many, many people came out of the woodwork."


Reflecting on his campaign, Brown said he never let the label "underdog" discourage him. "I think I never really believed the polls when they said I was down 30 points. I was out identifying votes and working hard to make sure we had a good grassroots effort."


He said he thinks the real turning point came when his leading opponent, Attorney General Martha Coakley, turned to negative campaigning.


As he spoke, a staff member approached and handed him a cell phone. "Coakley's campaign is on the phone."


It was about 9 p.m. While Brown retired to a quieter corner, Huff smiled brightly as she talked with and hugged family and friends. She was wearing a red dress chosen for her on Tuesday by Arianna.


"I was wearing just a white dress earlier," Huff said. "Arianna picked this one out for me. I would never pick this out, but it fits me perfectly."


Brown emerged from his conversation with Coakley.


"I appreciate her calling. I'm very excited," he said as he went around the room opening windows. "It's a little hot in here."


Moments later, about 9:15 p.m., another staff member handed a cell phone over again. "It's Sarah Palin."


Brown didn't miss a beat.


"Hi governor! How are you?" He nodded, moving again to find some quiet in the excitement-filled room. "Yes ... I already won. Yes. She already conceded."


"Isn't it exciting!" exclaimed Jean Cho of Milford, who has been Huff's hair stylist for many years and also now styles Ayla's and Arianna's hair. "It was only a few weeks ago when he won the primary. Did you like all the girls' hair?"


Asked if she did Brown's hair, Cho giggled and waved her hand. "Oh, no. When he rolls out of bed, he's already so handsome."


Also hanging out in the suite was Dan Winslow, former Wrentham District Court judge, of Norfolk. "This is a historic moment for Massachusetts and for the nation," he said. "I hope that the first steps toward bipartisanship could be said to begin here in Massachusetts."


Huff greeted Winslow with a hug. "All of this is still surreal," she said. "I'm going to wake up and ... I don't have a word for it."


Joining the festivities was Boston comedian Lenny Clark, who met Brown at a triathlon event about eight years ago. He said he went to it wearing an admittedly ratty outfit and "all the elite athletes were giving me a hard time. And Scott came over and said, 'Hey, this race is for everyone. Welcome.' I never forgot that, so when I heard he was running, I called him up and asked how I could help."


He said he's been "calling everybody I know, doing everything I can to make sure Scott Brown won. Finally we can tell Washington, 'We want you to listen."'As 10 p.m. approached, and Brown prepared to go down to the crowded ballroom to give his victory speech, former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney looked over his speech of introduction for Brown. "This is heroic," he said of Brown's win. "It wasn't expected that he would have a victory this big."


With everyone piling out of the room to head downstairs, Ayla smiled, sending an affectionate glance toward her dad as he consulted with Romney.


"I just feel so proud. I really do," she said. "It's been an amazing journey. I'm so proud of my dad. It's inspiring to watch and it's even more inspiring to be a part of it."


The MetroWest Daily News