CHICAGO--President Barack Obama is spending Election Day morning at the Fairmont Hotel doing satellite television interviews with outlets in battleground states, but before arriving, he stopped by a Hyde Park campaign field office to make calls to get-out-the-vote--and say the campaign with Mitt Romney was "hard fought."
In a contest that may end up a photo finish, both Obama and Romney were working to turnout their vote: After voting in Belmont, Mass., Romney was flying to Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on election day, before returning to Boston. Paul Ryan voted in Janesville, Wisc. before heading to Cleveland and Richmond, Virginia.
Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill voted in Wilmington, Delaware and then stopped in Cleveland--the visit was not announced on their public schedule--before heading to Chicago--where they also will be doing a series of battleground state interviews.
Obama spent Monday night at his Kenwood home where he will also stay on Tuesday. After electioneering chores--or between--he will play his traditional election day basketball game with buddies--eat dinner at home--and then at some point motorcade downtown. He will end the night at McCormick Place, where he will make a victory or concession speech--or something in-between if the results are not known.
Obama joined the phone bank at the Hyde Park field office--at Harper Ave. and Hyde Park Blvd.--to make six calls and then tipped his hat to Romney for running a "spirited campaign" and a "hard-fought race" as he predicted he would have "the votes to win."
Talking to the press pool, Obama said, "The great thing about these campaigns is after all the TV ads and all the fundraising and all the debates and all the electioneering, it comes down to this. One day and these incredible folks who are working so hard, making phone calls, making sure that people go out to vote. So I just want to say thank you to the American people.
"It's a source of great optimism for me whenever I come to Election Day because I end up having so much confidence in the decency and goodness and wisdom of the very folks who are working so hard trying to move their own small piece of this country forward."
Turning to the contest with Romney, Obama said, "I also want to say to Governor Romney, congratulations on a spirited campaign. I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today. We feel confident we've got the votes to win that it's going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out. And so I would encourage everybody on all sides just to make sure that you exercise this precious right that you have that people fought so hard for, for us to have," Obama said.
"I'm looking forward to the results. And I expect that we'll have a good night. But no matter what happens, I just want to say how much I appreciate everybody who has supported me, everybody who has worked so hard on my behalf. And again, I want to congratulate Gov. Romney and his team for a hard-fought race as well. OK?"
Obama is doing interviews today with--and this is a partial list--stations in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Miami, Tampa, Washington D.C. (covers the northern Virginia market), Denver and Las Vegas.