By Abdon Pallasch
CHICAGO--President-elect Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett, a transition co-chair made a surprise visit to Manny's Deli on the near South Side today and delighted a lunchtime crowd of clapping well-wishers.
He got three corned beef sandwiches, three potato pancakes and two slices of cherry pie to go and shook hands with diners -- as he and many other Chicago politicians have over the years.
Asked what he ordered, Obama answered, "We got the corned beef." His order was to go, not eat in. Manny's on Jefferson near Roosevelt is a favorite of Obama strategist David Axelrod and incoming chief of staff Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Obama.
Asked about the auto industry, Obama smiled and repeated, "We got the corned beef."
Obama paid $48.34 cash and left.
Obama had left his Hyde Park home in his motorcade around 7:30 a.m. today for his morning workout at Regents Park.
On the way back to the his home, some people waiting at stop lights honked their horns as the motorcade went by.
t: Pool report #4 - 11/21/08
President-electBarack Obama arrived at
Manny's Cafeteria and Deli at 12:29 pm to a crowd of about 25 people waiting outside.
Obama and Valerie Jarett walked to the front counter of the deli. 7 men in whte hats stood behind the counter waiting to make sandwiches.
Obama shook hands with Ken Raskin the restaurant's owner. Raskin's father, Manny, founded the Chicago institution.
"Rahm Emanuel sends his regards. I ordered him his corned beef," Obama told Raskin.
Obama signed a photo of himself with Mayor Daley after he won his Senate election in 2006. The photo was for Raskin.
"Alright, let me get my food," Obama said.
Someone suggested he get the mayo and mustard mix on his corned beef, and he said he would.
Asked by reporter what he ordered, Obama said, "we got the corned beef."
Asked by a reporter, "What do you think about the auto industry? and Obama smiled, said "I got the corned beef," and walked on to greet people in the restaurant.
The restaurant was packed. People had cell phone cameras out. They swarmed the president-elect, congratulating him on the election.
Patrons abandoned their plates of macaroni and cheese, blueberry pie, corned beef, dill pickles and chocolate chip cheesecake to get near the president-elect.
"I love you," one of them said.
"I love you back," Obama said.
One woman hugged him.
Obama left with 2 cherry pies and 3 corned beef sandwiches. The bill was $48.34. He paid cash.
Outside more people approched ObamaM he shook more hands. He went to get in his Surburban but turned around to shake more hands.
Lef Manny's at 12:45pm. Arrived at tranition headquarters at 12:53pm.
Lid until 5pm.