CHICAGO - President Obama -- along with members of both parties -- has been pushing the idea of early voting for the midterm elections. Monday morning he took his own advice, casting his ballot at a community center here.
"I'm so glad I can early vote," the president said as a he approached a poll worker at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Service Center on Chicago's South Side. The poll worker asked if he is, in fact, Barack Obama. "That's me," Obama responded.
And he put in a plug for an activity that appears to be near and dear to his heart. "I love voting," Obama said.
"Everybody in Illinois, early vote. It's a wonderful opportunity." Indeed, he welcomed fellow early voters, giving them hugs. He did have a bit of trouble at the electronic voting machine. "I will say this is made for folks who are a little short," Obama says while bent a bit to cast his votes.
Despite telling a rally for embattled Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and that he planned to vote for Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin (D), at the polls Obama stayed mum on his choices. "I can't say that," Obama said when asked for whom he voted. "This is the most important office of democracy, the office of citizenry."
Sound familiar? Democratic Kentucky Senate candiate Alison Lundergan Grimes also refused to say who she voted, when asked about her 2012 presidential vote.
Obama also visited a Quinn campaign office Monday, toting boxes of pastries and donuts.
"Michelle sent these. We got broccoli, carrots," he joked. Obama worked the room, reminding the group about early voting - "could not have been smoother," he said. The group, he remarked, was "me 30 years earlier, all energetic."
As the president went around shaking hands and chatting with volunteers, one said he had played basketball with Obama back in 1996.
"How was my game? Broke?" Obama asked.
"You were all right," the man responded.
"You guys keep on working now, don't get distracted," Obama said to the crowd. "We've got work to do."