Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chicago Campaign Breakfast To Go: President Obama Visits Valois Cafeteria

Last-minute stumping for Quinn & Giannoulias: "Pat's gonna win, Alexi's going to win" if turnout is "good," President predicts
UPDATE: Giannoulias lost. Quinn's votes still being counted...
After spending the night in his own bed in his hometown of Chicago on Saturday, President Obama stopped in at Valois cafeteria this morning, where he shook hands and greeted excited patrons and posed for photos. President Obama was accompanied by Gov. Pat Quinn and Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias, and he ordered pancakes, eggs and turkey sausage to go, from the counter. (Above: The President with Quinn, left and Giannoulias, right, watch breakfast being assembled by a Valois cook)

The Hyde Park eatery, close to the President's home, advertises with the slogan "See Your Food." On the wall, a poster reads "President Obama's favorites, including steak and eggs for $8.95."

"Hey, we've got to get the governor something!" President Obama said after he placed his order. Gov. Quinn asked for some scrambled eggs and sausage.

The President took some questions from reporters, and spoke about his optimism for the Illinois Dem candidates, who are anxiously awaiting the results of Tuesday's vote. Giannoulias is running for the President's former Senate seat.

"I feel great. If we got good turnout, Pat's gonna win, Alexi's going to win," President Obama said. "That's why turnout is so important. So we've seen a lot of enthusiasm. But it's going to be tight."

"These are close races. It's true here, it's true in Ohio, it's true in every state where we're competing," the President added. "And obviously the other side is enthusiastic. We've got to make sure our side is too."

The President insisted on paying cash for his take-out order, and pulled out a wad of bills wrapped in a $20 bill. He also had a tete-a-tete with waiter Barbara Davis, according to pool, reaching across the counter to clasp her hands. The President was overheard telling Davis he didn't want to leave his hometown, but "there's a great guy in Ohio I've got to go help out." The President will be in Ohio at 2:30 this afternoon for the final campaign stop of Election 2010, in support of Gov. Ted Strickland. (Above: President Obama holds his takeout order in a bag, as he chats with Valois cooks; Quinn and Giannoulias look on)

An AP video of the breakfast outing, which includes the President standing at the counter and shaking hands with the Valois cooks, as well as one of the counter staffers referring to him affectionately as "baby":

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama are appearing in a TV ad for Giannnoulias, where the First Lady dubs him "phenomenal." It's the only ad that Mrs. Obama has made for a candidate. She stumped for Giannnoulias in Chicago on October 13, on her first day back on the campaign trail since Campaign 2008.

The President stumped in Chicago on Saturday night with a huge rally at Midway Plaisance Park, attended by 35,000 people, and he also dined at Topolobampo restaurant with friends Marty Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker. Earlier on Saturday, he stumped in Philadelphia, PA and Bridgeport, CT. In Philadelphia, the President stopped in at the Famous 4th Street Deli for lunch, accompanied by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).

After his rally in Ohio, the President heads home to the White House this evening to welcome trick or treaters with the First Lady.

Info: Valois cafeteria is at 1518 E. 53rd Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60615. Phone: 773.667.0647.

*Photos by Getty; Ap video & video from Giannoulias campaign