Former president Barack Obama appeared for jury duty in Chicago on Wednesday, but he was not chosen to serve.
Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans told reporters that Obama was not selected for duty, according to the AP, but still, it was an unusual day in the downtown court complex.
Though Obama and his wife, Michelle, have said they plan to live in Washington while their daughter Sasha finishes high school, they still own a Georgian-style home in the Hyde Park neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.
Obama left his Chicago home Wednesday morning, his motorcade parked in a secure garage underneath the Daley Center building, and he arrived in court by 10 a.m., according to the Chicago Tribune. He used the same private elevator judges use to make it to the 17th-floor jury assembly room, where he ran into reporters, attorneys and court staff eager to see him, the Tribune reported.
A court clerk exclaimed, “He’s gorgeous!” when she saw Obama, according to the Chicago Tribune.
While waiting in the jury assembly area, the Tribune said, prospective jurors are allowed to bring reading materials and use their cellphones. They are paid $17.20 per day.
In a video posted by Twitter user @1992AngelM, Obama is walking around the jury assembly room, shaking hands. He can be heard saying, “Thanks everybody for serving on the jury, or at least being willing to.”
“This looks like Chicago right here,” he says in the video. “I like that.”
Obama sightings are frequently shared on social media, such as the photos and videos of the former president’s trip to the British Virgin Islands, which included a video showing him in shorts, polo shirt, flip-flops and a backward hat.
The 2010 State of the Union address kept Obama from appearing for jury duty the last time he was summoned. Evans first told county commissioners that Obama, who encourages civic engagement, would serve, and told the Tribune that: “He made it crystal clear to me through his representative that he would carry out his public duty as a citizen and resident of this community.”
The Tribune reported that other high-profile Chicagoans have reported for jury duty, including Oprah Winfrey. And other former presidents have also done it.
George W. Bush, more than six years after the end of his presidency, sat through the jury selection panel at George Allen Dallas County Civil Court building in August 2015 but was not chosen as a juror.
Former president Bill Clinton became Prospective Juror No. 142 in federal court in Manhattan in March 2003, but was eventually dismissed for the case involving a gang shooting in the Bronx, according to the New York Times.
Joe Biden was called for jury duty in Delaware in January 2011 while he was serving as vice president but was not chosen to be a juror.
The Washington Post reported that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. reported for jury duty in Montgomery County, Md., in April 2015. He was being considered for a civil case involving a car crash but was not selected.
A 50-year-old man told the Tribune he was excited about possibly seeing Obama Wednesday.
“It’s cool,” Ronald Stubbs told the Tribune before reporting for jury duty. “I would love to see the former president.”
Rachel Siegel contributed to this report.