Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Obama gets testy with press on Halloween walk in Chicago with Sasha

| 22 Comments

Thumbnail image for 103108obama.JPG
(AP Photo)

Barack Obama lost his famous cool on Friday afternoon when he became annoyed at the press while out walking to a Halloween party in Kenwood with daughter Sasha.

Obama briefly left the campaign trail to spend a few hours in Chicago as he entered into the last weekend of his almost two year quest for the presidency.


"All right guys. That's enough. You've got a shot. Leave us alone. Come on guys. Get back on the bus," Obama said, looking irritated as he walked north on Greenwood near 50th St. hand-in-hand with daughter Sasha.



Obama was wearing sunglasses, dark slacks, a dark jacket partly unzipped to show a white shirt, no tie. Sasha dressed up a white cape and what appeared to be a black leotard. This costume had been described previously as a "corpse queen." They were headed on public streets to a Halloween party hosted by Marty Nesbitt, his friend and treasurer of his presidential campaign.

Heading east on 50th the press--his small travel press pool--continued to follow when a reporter and cameraman from a Polish outlet, Wydarzenia appeared on the street AND approached Obama. Obama paused and indicated that he wanted the press to back off.

The Obama pool retreated a few paces, as did the Polish crew. A few moments later, Obama broke into a run with Sasha at his side. He bounded east on 50th, turning north on Woodlawn, still in a trot.

There was a bit of a commotion surrounding the surprise walk. At 5:13 p.m.
the pool reboarded the bus, told that he was heading to the barber. A few moments after the pool bus started west on 50th, Katie Lillie got word from the agent on board that Obama was taking a walk. With that surprise, the bus quickly drove around the block in order for the pool to catch up with Obama.

22 Comments

Geez. Let him spend some time with his daughters without shoving a camera in his face.

Even McCain gets free time away from the reporters. Obama should get free time with his family without press interruption. I understand why they had a private Halloween party instead of going door to door. I do love the ploy of saying public streets to rationalize the press swarm- reporters have been following his every move for 2 years and this is the first time he is upset in public- big news! Give me and Obama a break.

God forbid the guy as a smidgeon of privacy, eh?

The candidate conducted himself with dignity.

The father conducted himself with extraordinary restraint.

The reporters in question behaved like ghouls.

Back off. Back way off.

Good for Obama. The press need to respect the rare time alone with his family.

Getting testy - must mean Obama is human and family is top priority

All of these quotes are polite and reasonable, and I have not seen any photos of anger or "testiness". There were loads of photographers there and if Obama showed anger photos would have been everywhere. The press are just trying to create some fake unfair controversy.

In the short time that Obama had to see his girls on one of the most important days of the year, I think the press should back off, and Obama shouldn't have to tell them. He is available all day long; give him the time with his family. I have nothing but admiration for him for taking time on Halloween and showing up with a pumpkin. Vote Obama for family values, and back off on family outings, press. We are ok reading about it with out paparazzi photos.

Obama knew he gave up his privacy when he chose to run for President - but to be fair, his daughter(s) didn't. Don't get me wrong - the press was within its rights filming on a public street. But camera crews marring his little girl's Halloween experience (despite his rather extraordinary efforts to get back to Chicago to share this moment with his kids in the late stages of this campaign) would surely frustrate any parent. The First Amendment does not demand common decency of the press - and perhaps the law shouldn't. But one would hope that each individual journalist would know better than to cross this line. When faced with such rudeness, all one can really do is just trot away.

Wow, you are gonna see him for 4-8 more years people. Give him a pass on the family stuff.

My Comment on Barack Obama and Halloween Time with his Daughter:
I think that he deserves a moment with his child, she doesn't understand the media attention, and she just wants time with "Dad". Come on, we all know (if we have children) that the child needs the attention. Leave him alone once in awhile to spend quality time with his children. He is going to be the best President we have had in a long, long time. Let him live his life too! He wants to live his life for you!
Dianne

I do not see that as losing his patience.
I see it as being a protective father.
The polish news crew were strangers.
They were not the regular press pool you
see everyday. All of those cameras and people could scare any child to death.
Any parent would want to protect their little girl.

"OK Sasha, on the count of three, let's lose these guys ready ... one, two, THREE!"

I love it! Good to see a man spend some time with his kids and give them a giddy reason to smile.

"He is testy, he loses his cool." He is trying to trick or treat with his kid...to equate that with him losing his ability to reason and that this is a concern or even a story means you guys in the press are desperate. Cant you find something else to write about..how about the chaos in the Congo?

The press should be careful as the Obama campaign can play hardball!

Three reporters found out yesterday after their newspapers endorsed his opponent they were barred from the campaign plane.

The explanation from the campaign is really not believable.

It's sad that the press makes this sound like THEY were the offended. This may be the last Halloween that Barack and Sasha will ever enjoy on the streets of Chicago and we have our media offended for infringing on the Obama's space - get a life guys and girls.

WOW!! Testy? Great to see all of you rush to Barry's aid! You say, no temper? I say CRAZY MAN.
1) Look what he did in FLA - Banished a news station for asking a simple question.
2) Kicking non-Barry loving reporters off his plane.
3) Yelling at reporters on Halloween in front of your kid!

What's next?

Let's hope for a REZKO talking or even better Oct surprise!!

This man is power hungry! Soon to be power drunk!!

Beware of what you wish for you - you might get it. Just like be - careful of the company you keep (he's a great judge of character) especially then you write about it in your book or tape it (even though the news media will not release it).

Good luck to all - looks like we're going to need it.

P.S. - for all of you that do not pay taxes Merry Xmas you'll see a nice phat check! Hey - I like free money, but I have a work ethic. Wouldn't it be nice if more Americans had one?
I was raised to "Do for myself" not to wait for a handout.

As a mother of two daughters, and a former trick-or-treater myself, I understand perfectly why he got testy with the press here.

Young girls are often a little self-conscious when they dress up for Halloween or other occasions. Some of our worst family moments occurred when a costume didn't look quite right, or when face make-up didn't go on right. Poor little Sasha probably was a little self-conscious, and her perceptive dad realized that.

The press really needs to do a better job respecting the kids' privacy. When they're on the stage with their parents, fine--he's said they always ask the kids if they want to come out. But when they're just being kids, the press should buzz off, no matter who's holding their hands. Think for a minute if it were your own kids.

The guy is running for president of the USA...the press is going to follow his family for the rest of their lives if he does indeed win...best to get used to it!

THEY BETTER GET USE TO HIM AND THEY BETTER LEARN
TO BE RESPECTFUL OR HE WILL CUT THEM OFF!
HE IS INTELLIGENT, HE AIN'T BUSH OR 5 DEFERMENT
CHENEY HE IS THE REAL DEAL, AND AMERICA WILL
BENEFIT FROM A SMART MAN IN OFFICE!
MCCAIN IS TOAST! ADIOS!

REPORTERS GET WAY TO CARRIED AWAY THEY FORGET HOW TO BE HUMAN.LET HIM AND HIS DAUGHTER ENJOY THE LITTLE TIME THEY DO HAVE.IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE AND OBAMA IS IT.

YOUR GRANDMOTHER TOOT WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN,
THANKS FOR SHARING HER WITH US, MY DEEPEST
SYMPATHY TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!
YOU ARE A VERY RESPECTFUL MAN AND YOUR GRANDMOTHER
DIDN'T RAISE NO JUNK!
BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA AND FAMILY, SHOWING
AMERICA TRUE FAMILY LIFE, ALWAYS VERY RESPECTFUL!

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets

Video

Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 31, 2008 9:13 PM.

Obama offering 10 seats at election night Grant Park Obamafest for new internet donors was the previous entry in this blog.

McCain campaign manager Davis says don't count McCain out. Memo is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.