President Barack Obama cast his ballot in Chicago on Monday and gave a strong endorsement of early voting. But he wouldn’t answer the question that has a fairly obvious answer.
President Barack Obama casts a ballot in early voting for the 2014 midterm elections at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Center, Oct. 20, 2014 in Chicago. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Obama talked to other early voters as well as to the press pool that was following him. Someone asked Obama who he was voting for.
“I can't say that,” the president responded before casting his vote at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Center, according to the White House press pool report.
He added, “This is the most important office of democracy, the office of citizenry.”
The day before, Obama spoke at a rally for Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who is facing a tough re-election battle this year. After voting, Obama went to greet volunteers for Quinn’s campaign — so, one could at least infer who he voted for in the governor’s race.
Obama isn’t the only Democratic reluctant to reveal his voting. Earlier this month, Democratic Senate candidate Allison Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky seat, made national news for refusing to say whether she voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
At the polling place, a poll worker verified whether the president was Barack Obama. “That’s me,” the president answered.
Obama welcomed fellow early voters, some who told him they loved him, Obama responding with, “I love you back.”
“I'm so glad I can early vote," Obama said. Speaking directly to reporters, he said, “I love voting. Everybody in Illinois, early vote. It's a wonderful opportunity.”
Early voting is a perfectly legitimate and occurs across the country, and it does not allow voting more than once. As it happens, the tongue-in-cheek phrase “vote early and vote often” was coined in the city where Obama voted Monday. The phrase has been attributed to three Chicagoans, former Mayor Richard Daley, former Mayor William Hale Thompson and gangster Al Capone.