'He’s gorgeous!': Obama reports for jury duty in Chicago like 'everyone else'

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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the League of Conservation Voters Capital Dinner at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington June 25, 2014.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the League of Conservation Voters Capital Dinner at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington June 25, 2014. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Former US President Barack Obama arrived for jury duty in Chicago on Wednesday, but he was dismissed from the pool. He reportedly tried to blend in, but his appearance at the Richard J Daley Center created quite a stir.

Obama appeared in a sport coat and shirt with no tie. He waved to onlookers as he approached the downtown court complex. He used the same private elevator that judges use to make it to the 17th-floor jury assembly room, the Chicago Tribune reports. Court clerk Sonal Joshi reportedly exclaimed, “He’s gorgeous.”

The Cook County chief judge, Timothy Evans, later announced at a news conference that Obama would not be serving. Like ordinary citizens, the 44th president would have been in line for jury duty.

Evans said Obama was assigned to a panel that was randomly sent home. He added that the former president was gracious to others who were there to report for civic duty. On Tuesday, the Secret Service was at the courthouse in anticipation of Obama’s arrival.

After the former POTUS left, Evans told reporters that he thought he would be reticent about greeting others who were there, but he took time to greet the prospective jurors on both sides of the panels with about 220 people. Obama was fine about people taking pictures of him, but appeared to have thought that selfies would be a cause of delay.

The judge also told reporters, "I saw him pause for a moment and I thought his Secret Service panel may not permit him to do that, but he said that he wanted to sign their books and he did sign,” according to CNN. Obama was reportedly willing to go through what everyone else went through. But on Wednesday, he was not picked to serve.

The Obamas own a Georgian-style home in the Hyde Park neighbourhood on the South Side of Chicago. They previously shared about their plan to live in Washington while their daughter, Sasha, finishes high school.

Obama is not the first former leader of the free world to receive a notice for jury duty. Former POTUS George Bush reported for jury in 2015 at a Dallas courthouse. Bush was not selected at that time as well, but he sat through the process and posed for photos with other potential jurors.

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