The President worries about daughter Malia leaving for college as he speaks to youth voting base...
Campaigning in the battleground state of Ohio on Tuesday, President Obama made an unscheduled stop at Sloopy's Diner, located in the Ohio Union at Ohio State University in Columbus. The President dropped by at 11:20 AM to chat up his formerly enthusiastic youth voting base, who begin classes tomorrow. He placed a take-out order for the classic reuben sandwich, made with corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island Dressing on griddled marbled rye bread ($7.50), with potato chips ($1.5), and a piece of Buckeye Pie (peanut butter and chocolate filling with whipped cream, $4.00). The President also ordered aide Marvin Nicholson a burger with American cheese ($5.00).
The "50's-inspired" diner is in a modern brick building on the campus of the school where the President held his first official campaign rally in May, joined by his wife. Clad in his shirtsleeves and tie with dark trousers, the President worked the chrome-covered room, going from booth to booth, along an aisle of tables closest to the diner counter.
The President's first stop was at a table of three young women, all incoming freshmen: Sydney Butz, 18, of Canton; Charlotte Thorson, 18, of Upper Arlington; and Alexis Lambos, 18, also of Canton.
"You're just starting?" President Obama said to the group. "How exciting!"
He said starting college was a big step in their lives.
"You're doing great. I'm proud of you. Congratulations."
At the next table, there were three more young women.
"The only problem seeing you guys," the President said, was that his daughter, Malia, is starting high school this year and will be moving out in a few years to go to college herself.
One of the students, Samantha Williams, of Lima, OH, asked, "Are you ready?"
"No," the President replied, "I don't want them to leave yet."
As he worked along, an unseated group angling for access to the President broke out in a chant of "Fired Up! Ready to Go!," pool reported. The President joined in on the refrain.
Working down the counter he greeted sisters Amy and Lyndsay Molnar, ages 22 and 23, of Steubenville. Amy told the President he had a "beautiful smile," praise that took on greater significance to him when she told him she was studying dental hygiene.
As he greeted another group of young women, the President posed for a photo with three students pantomiming the O-H-I-O of Ohio State. Obama put his hands up as the letter "I".
Outside on the brick patio, the president greeted more students, and "on the pathway where POTUS would walk to his car, was writing in chalk promoting a College Republicans event Wednesday night at the US Bank Theater featuring Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican who was on Mitt Romney's VP short list," reported pool.
The President came outside the diner to a chant of "Yes We Can!" that quickly was joined by general cheering. The crowd snapped photos with phones as the President called out to ask if the students are registered to vote.
The motorcade rolled just before noon, heading to the President's next stop. He is on a two-day swing through Ohio, Nevada, and New York.
*Pool photos by Getty/Reuters