CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel cast his vote for president and in other races at a Chicago Park District fieldhouse on the Southwest Side on Tuesday, and made no secret whom he chose for President.
Emanuel came directly from President Barack Obama’s downtown campaign headquarters, where he did video conferences as a stand-in for the President, who is off the campaign trail as the clean-up from Hurricane Sandy gets underway.
“He’s exactly where he’s supposed to be,” Emanuel said.
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Asked by WBBM Newsradio if President Obama is done personally campaigning, and if surrogates will do all of the campaigning on his behalf between now and Election Day, Emanuel said, “I want to do whatever I can, as I always have, for this President. He’s a good friend. He’s been a great President. And he’s doing his job as commander-in-chief and President, making sure that FEMA and all the other agencies are responding to the people who are literally in the eye of the storm.”
As he walked up to get his ballot, the mayor took one look at the voter questionnaire handed to him by the election judges at the McKinley Park fieldhouse, 2210 W. Pershing Rd., and joked to Ald. George Cardenas (12th), “My favorite question. ‘Are you a resident?’”
But when Cardenas was asked for picture identification, he could not present one. His driver’s license was in his car, and the election judges refused to give him a ballot until an aide retrieved it.
Emanuel worked from notes scribbled on city stationery and said he voted the entire ballot – even judges.
Asked if he cares for Chicago’s system of elected judges, he took a gentle swipe at the reporters who were present, saying, “It’s more rigorous than it is for our newsmen.”
The mayor then said that evaluations of judicial candidates are readily available on the Internet if voters care to look.
Emanuel and Cardenas did not find a line when they arrived at the fieldhouse, in the shadow of the block of warehouses that once housed Chicago Public Schools headquarters. In fact, several of the voting stations were empty when he voted, at about 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Residents of the city of Chicago can vote in any of the Chicago Board of Elections’ early polling places between now and Election Day; they need not cast early ballots in their home precinct.