Obama signs book, shakes hands at jury duty
Official White House Photo(CHICAGO) — Former President Barack Obama reported for jury duty in Chicago on Wednesday, fulfilling his role as both citizen and celebrity.
Cell phone video from a fellow juror shows a relaxed Obama signing in at the Richard J. Daley Center and then shaking hands with those seated around the jury pool waiting room.
The former president even signed one of his books that a fellow juror had brought.
“Did you know I was coming?” Obama asked the person with a smile. “You brought a book and everything!”
Obama was briefly selected for a jury panel but was sent home after 12 p.m. when Circuit Court Judge Tim Evans dismissed the group.
Obama’s presence in Chicago’s downtown county courthouse prompted extra security measures that meant delays and snaking lines to get through the building’s entrance screening.
But some jurors were more impressed than inconvenienced by the fact that Obama showed up to perform his civic duty.
“It shows us all that I don’t have a good excuse and it’s an important duty for all of us,” first-time juror Walter Palmer told ABC Chicago affiliate WLS.
For his day of public service, he will presumably receive the standard payment for every Cook County juror, which is $17.20.
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