Obama on the Auto Industry: ‘I Got the Corned Beef’

Nov 21, 2008 7:13pm

ABC News’ Matt Jaffe Reports from Chicago:

Taking a break from a week full of private meetings at his transition headquarters in Chicago, President-elect Barack Obama went out to lunch Friday at Manny’s, a famous Windy City deli, greeting locals and basking in the cheers of hometown supporters.

In the crowded eatery, one reporter asked him about the troubled auto industry, just days after Detroit executives went to Washington in hopes of $25 billion in federal aid.

"I got the corned beef," replied a smiling Obama.

Minutes later, he saw some diners dressed in suits.

"You look like smart guys — give me some advice on the economy," Obama joked as the gentlemen laughed.

Patrons of the packed restaurant ditched their lunches of corned beef, mac & cheese, blueberry pie, and chocolate-chip cheesecake to get a glimpse of the President-elect, accompanied by senior advisor Valerie Jarrett.

"I love you," one supporter told Obama.

"I love you back," he reciprocated.

At the counter, Obama greeted Ken Raskin, the restaurant’s owner and son of its founder, and signed a photo of himself with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley taken after the Illinois senator’s election victory in 2006.

After just over a quarter of an hour, Obama left the popular eatery with three corned beef sandwiches and two cherry pies, at a cost of $48.34 paid in cash.

The President-elect took the grub back to his Chicago headquarters, where he spent about most of the morning and afternoon.

– Matt Jaffe

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