Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Day: President Obama Visits OFA Field Office, Offers Congratulations To Mitt Romney

The President calls supporters from Chicago
President Obama on Tuesday morning made an early visit to a field office located close to his Hyde Park home, and met with thrilled staffers before calling supporters.  He arrived at 8:56 AM to much applause from the volunteers.  Clad in a blue suit, white shirt and a striped blue, white and gray tie, the President took off his jacket and announced "Let's get busy, we've got to round up some votes."  After making six calls, President Obama gathered the press pool and issued a statement thanking his supporters, then congratulated GOP Challenger Mitt Romney "for a spirited campaign" and a "hard-fought race."

"Listen, I just want to say how grateful Michelle and I am for all the families and all the communities who have welcomed us into their homes, in some cases, into their neighborhoods and have in some cases worked so hard on our behalf," President Obama said.

"The great thing about these campaigns is after all the TV ads and all the fundraising and all the debates and all the electioneering, it comes down to this. One day and these incredible folks who are working so hard, making phone calls, making sure that people go out to vote. So I just want to say thank you to the American people. It’s a source of great optimism for me whenever I come to Election Day because I end up having so much confidence in the decency and goodness and wisdom of the very folks who are working so hard trying to move their own small piece of this country forward."

“I also want to say to Governor Romney, congratulations on a spirited campaign. I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today. We feel confident we’ve got the votes to win that it’s going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out. And so I would encouragee verybody on all sides just to make sure that you exercise this precious right that you have that people fought so hard for, for us to have.”

"I’m looking forward to the results. And I expect that we’ll have a good night. But no matter what happens, I just want to say how much I appreciate everybody who has supported me, everybody who has worked so hard on my behalf. And again, I want to congratulate Gov. Romney and his team for a hard-fought race as well. OK?”

As reporters were being ushered from the room after remarks, the President returned to the phone table and picked up a Starbucks cup and took a drink. It was not his cup.

"That's coffee, not tea," he said. "I thought that was my tea." Then he joked with the volunteer who owned the cup. "You don't have a cold do you?"

The President last visited the office, located at Harper Ave and Hyde Park Boulevard, two weeks ago.  He departed at 9:13 AM, heading for the Fairmont Hotel, where he will be doing interviews.

The President's schedule for Election Day. 

From the pool report, on the President's calls:

"Potus sits down next to a woman in a yellowish green shirt and picks up an old school, non-smart flip-style cell phone. Four other people sit at his table. They keep doing work as he makes calls.

"Hi is this Annie? This is Barack Obama."

The caller may not have known who it was.

"This is Barack Obama. You know, the president?"

Caller is from Wisconsin.

"She was very nice to me even though she initially didn't know who I was," Obama said when the call ended.

Second call. Also to Wisconsin.

"Hi is this Karen? Karen this is Barack Obama. I'm calling to say thank you for working so hard."

Third call. Pool has been moved back and it is harder to hear Potus.

Potus points to pool. "Hey did you guys vote?"

Mixed response.

"Good," Potus said.

Fourth call.

"Hey May (or Maeve, it was hard to hear by now)..."

Fifth call.

"Hey Donna can you hear me? This is Barack Obama how you doing?"

He thanks her for her work as a neighborhood team leader.

"With all the work you guys are doing I'm sure were going to win Wisconsin."

Potus turns to press.

"I've got one more and then I've got something for you," he said.

Sixth call.

"Hi is this Jill? This is Barack Obama. This is your president. You're working so hard I had to say thanks. No, it is. I'm calling some of our best volunteers up in Madison."

Jill apparently puts someone else on the phone and Potus again says hello.

"You guys are out there just tearing it up," he says. "Proud of you guys."

It is 9:13 am. Pool is ushered out.

Potus emerges to greet people waiting to see him outside.

After a few minutes, Obama emerged to work a short rope line of passerby.

"How are you? Everybody voted? ... Good to see you."

A woman asked Potus to sign a shoe that was imprinted with Potus’s name and other campaign graphics.

"Look at that," Potus said, before turning to Marvin Nicholson. "Check that out."

Potus signed the shoe and then waved to a crowd across the street, apparently mistaking them for students in a school. "You guys got to get back to class," he shouted.

Then the pool was ushered back on the buses. 

Rolling at 9:20 am to Fairmont.


*Photo by Jen Psaki, OFA Press Secretary, tweeted on @JRPSAKI.  Pool was Politico's Reid Epstein.