By: Neal Kisor, Features Writer
Presidents, past and current, hold the responsibility of being outstanding and model American citizens. This past week former President Obama exemplified this responsibility by showing up to jury duty in Cook County, Illinois.
Obama arrived to a chorus of excited voices and a swath of smiling faces. Of the almost 200 in attendance, Obama went around to almost every single one, shaking hands and signing books and autographs.
Obama did not allow himself to get too caught up in the popularity. After all, to allow all of the people to take selfies would be to delay the Justice System. When it came time to watch the twenty minute long video on how to be a juror, Obama sat through the whole thing.
Obama was not selected in the end and he was dismissed after a random drawing. However, he probably would never of made the cut to begin with. As a law student, Obama should know the trouble associated with a presidential juror. A huge public figurehead is likely to tip the rest of the jury towards their opinion. Inversely, opponents of a public figure may stubbornly disagree with them. Obama was not met with many opponents, and he reportedly had tact when dealing with both sides.
In 2015 former president George W. Bush showed up to jury duty in Dallas. In 2003 Bill Clinton became a prospective juror in Manhattan. Obama sadly had to skip out on jury duty in 2010, but he was a little tied up at that moment with being commander-in-chief. Obama’s visit to the Daley Center serves as a humbling reminder that these huge public figures are just normal citizens, with civil duties and responsibilities.