President-elect Barack Obama and wife Michelle partied Saturday night first at the Lincoln Park home of Penny Pritzker and then the motorcade zoomed back to Kenwood for festivities at the home of Marty Nesbitt. Pritzker was Obama's finance chair and Nesbitt was the treasurer of Obama's presidential campaign. Pritzker and Nesbitt are also in business together; Nesbitt is the president and CEO of The Parking Spot and Pritzker is chairman of the board. Here are the pool reports from my Chicago Sun-Times colleague Abdon Pallasch.
Obama's Saturday, minute by minute
Pool Report 1 Saturday, Nov. 22 No news. The 6 a.m. call time allowed poolers to glimpse the pre-dawn red sky above Lake Michigan as the press bus rolled down Lake Shore Drive toward President-elect Obama's house in Hyde Park/Kenwod. At 9:02 a.m., Obama's SUV pulled out of his driveway bound for the Regents Park apartment complex where his friend and periodic campaign employee Mike Signator lives and where Obama worked out at the gym for 78 minutes from 9:07 to 10:25. The temperature in the WIndy City is a colder-early-than -usual 27 degrees but Obama was presumably only outside long enough to go from door to car (the line of sight to the building's entrance is now blocked for security purposes) and only his White Sox capped head was visible in the SUV. His SUV pulled back onto his home street by 10:30 and we are holding nearby.
Abdon M. Pallasch Chicago Sun-Times
Pool Report #2
After more than 7 hours at home, Obama's SUV pulled out at 5:48. He and his wife arrived at his friend and national finance chair Penny Pritzker's home for dinner at 6:26. There was a slight delay as the motorcade made a wrong turn and stopped at a fire house a few blocks from Pritzker's house to figure the best way to get to the house.
Abdon M. Pallasch Chicago Sun-Times
Still holding outside the Pritzkers'. What's the vibe in this neighborhood that has a lot of high-priced homes such as the Pritzker's very large, very modern home with adjacent yard with art structures? A neighbor across the street yelled at a secret service agent parked in her driveway, "Excuse me! You have to leave our driveway! I have to go to the Opera!" To clarify the stop at the fire station: The motorcade found itself at the wrong end of Pritzker's one-way street and the driver wanted the least disruptive path to bring the multi-car motorcade around to the Pritzkers' home, an Obama press aide said. A photographer captured the president-elect smiling broadly as he sat in the SUV in the fire station lot.
Abdon M. Pallasch Political Reporter Chicago Sun-Times
The Obamas left the Pritzker home at 8:53 p.m. Michelle Obama proceeded directly to the SUV while the president-elect walked over and shook hands with a dozen mostly teen or younger fans who had gathered outside to cheer him on. Obama carried a hard-cover book on Abraham Lincoln. Both Obamas wore winter coats. The Obamas are making their second social call of the night -- at the home of friend Marty Nesbitt.
The Lincoln book was Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan. The Pritzker home is in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The Obamas arrived at the Nesbitt home just blocks from their own at 9:17 and stayed until 11:18. In the interim, a neighbor asked the press pool bus to pull forward as the bus was blocking the man from pulling his car into his driveway. The neighbor appeared annoyed about having to get out of his car into the 27-degree night air to have to ask the bus to move. The bus driver quickly obliged. The Obamas' SUV pulled onto their block at 11:20 p.m. and a lid was declared.
Abdon M. Pallasch