Former President Barack Obama, free of a job that forced him to move to Washington for eight years, showed up to a downtown Chicago courthouse for jury duty on Wednesday morning. Then he heard the words most prospective jurors pray for: You're dismissed.
The 44th president's motorcade — considerably shorter than the one when he lived in the White House — left his home in the Kenwood neighborhood on the city's South Side and arrived at the Richard J. Daley Center shortly after 10 a.m.
Obama — wearing a dark sport coat, dress shirt, but without a tie — waved to people who gathered outside.
Shortly before noon, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans told reporters that the former president had not been selected for jury duty. But Obama was ready to serve if told to do so, Evans said.
In fact, Obama was also summoned in 2010 but that was during the period when he was the most powerful leader in the world, and he was able to postpone reporting, according to his spokeswoman, Katie Hill.
On Wednesday, Obama did get the prospective juror experience of sitting through a decades-old, 20-minute video in which Lester Holt— now the anchor of NBC Nightly News but back then on local news —explained the ins and outs of jury duty.