Sen. Barack Obama voted this morning. Here is the pool report:
Barack Obama arrived at the Beluah Shoesmith Elementary School polling location (precinct 24, ward 4) at 7:36am just minutes after Bill Ayers had departed. Michelle, Sasha and Malia accompanied him. Malia went into the polling booth with Michelle and Sasah hung out in her own polling booth looking very grown up. She then looked on as Obama cast his ballot. Later, she hugged Obama’s leg looking impatient. Voters told your pooler that there are about 60 state and local judges on the ballot so it took a fairly long time to get through. Michelle took longer than Obama to finish her ballot. She did not look up from the ballot at all, while Obama grinned occassionally at his daughters.
When Obama cast his ballot, he announced to the few dozen onlookers snapping photos with their camera phones, “I voted.”
The crowd let out a big cheer.
“He’s sort of a hometown favorite,” said Addison Braendel, 44 and an attorney who lives four houses down from Obama in Hyde Park.
Obama shook hands with voters. When he headed toward the door, the crowd roared with applause.
Bloomberg and your pooler shouted “How does it feel, Senator?” He didn’t turn around and continued to walk toward the door.
The line stretched further around the block as the press pool departed. Your pooler asked a woman waiting in line how long she’d been there.
“We’ve been waiting an hour and have moved half a block. It’s very exciting,” she said sarcastically.
Before Obama voted, the pool reporter noticed a certain notorious character on his way to the polling place.
Here’s that report:
As your pooler waited for Barack Obama to arrive at the Beluah Shoesmith Elementary School, Bill Ayers showed up with his wife to cast his vote. Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe first noticed Ayers. Your pooler confirmed his identity after yelling out “Mr. Ayers, who did you vote for?” He turned around but did not answer. An official from the Chicago elections board told your pooler sternly not to yell at the polling station.