April 2nd, 2008
03:21 PM ET
10 years ago

Visibly annoyed, Obama refuses to pose for picture


Watch a man repeatedly asks Obama to pose for a photograph.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) - A visibly annoyed Barack Obama gave a flat-out "no" Wednesday to a rather persistent man who approached the Illinois senator numerous times throughout morning asking to pose for a photograph with him.

The campaign claims the man was seeking to sell items on eBay, the online auction site.

"They wanted a picture to authenticate the signatures," said spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "They were first at the Senator's hotel and tried to get in front of third graders who were lined up to see Senator Obama."

In the e-mailed statement, Psaki continued, "After being disruptive the police moved them to the sidewalk. They then followed the motorcade to the second stop at the market and continued to push for a picture to authenticate whatever they could get signed."

(Full back-and-forth from the pool report after the jump)

Run-in #1: outside a shop, on the way in
Man: Senator can I have a quick picture with you
Man: It will take you two seconds. Don't cram me, I'm not doing anything to anybody. Jesus.

Run-in #2: after the shop
Man: "Senator can I get a picture with you?"
Obama: (slightly annoyed) "You are wearing me out, brother."
Man: "I got one with [Clinton] and I got one with McCain, come on Senator that's not right."

Run in #3: in the street
Man: "Senator, can I please, a quick one?
Obama: (very annoyed) No, you know what? no.
Man: Can I just say something to you real fast.
Obama: Yeah you can.
Man: I had one with [Clinton], had one with Senator McCain
Obama: I am sure you do. Because when I was trying to talk to some kids - and I know, look -

Man: No, my wife is a school teacher and she was there, she had to go back and that wasn't right what wont you just take a picture with me, I'm not asking you for a autograph, it's for my family.

Obama: Yeah well, whatever. Just take it. I won't be smiling. Because you're wearing me out. ..No no, you've been really rude about it. Just take a shot.

Obama and the man did not take a shot, the man was still arguing and the secret service stepped in (non confrontationally), just putting a hand between him and Obama.

Secret Service: That's it.
Man: No I'm good. All I want is a picture, that's it.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. Obama 1, King of America

    He is showing his true face, does it surprise anyone ? This guy thinks he is going to be crowned and is beginning to act like royalty, by not allowing one of his fawning followers to be photographed with his Majesty, Obama the first, King of America.!

    April 2, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. cathy

    Mike....Although you are a Hillary supporter, thanks for the nice explanation as to why Obama is testy with this guy. It is noce to see that aome Clinton supporters are not just Haters. Just as I think asking Chelsea about Monica is wrong, we can agree on what is right or wrong and still support our candidate. Kudos to you, Mike!

    April 2, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. J. Ruffin

    I don't blame him. With the size of Senator Obama's crowds, there's
    always at least one kook that has to be monitored.

    April 2, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. DWC

    Even if the guy did want to sell it on E bay, how would Obama know that at the time? Maybe the guy was pushy, but I can't believe this was the first pushy person he has run up against in the campaign, he probably just thought this guy's vote wouldn't matter . I listened to the video, he came off dismissive. Why didn't he just take the picture and move on. And what was with the calling him "brother" in the video? I think this was just a little of his real character peaking though as he probably is tired of having to put his false face on all of the time when cameras are rolling. Probably good for remaining voters to see him on an occasional bad day though so they know he isn't perfect afterall.

    April 2, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Kevin Pennsylvania

    To Mike

    thanks for your Comment its nice to see a Hillary supporter that can read this story with a non biased open mind Hillary needs more supporters like you

    April 2, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. That Jay guy from Canada

    The Nutzarazzi wanted a picture with who may be the futur prez of the USA...
    Why ? Check out what a Barack Obama autograph is worth on EBAY

    As a matter of fact : check out other interesting Obama offerings on EBAY

    See for yourself what kind of freak the 'just an average joe who wanted a picture' really is...

    April 2, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Marc

    Found out that he wants the picture to sell on E-Bay. I would be pissed off too if I was Obama. And for Chris from San Antonio, Hillary wouldn't even give you a dollar if she had the chance. Your right though, she would with Rezko. Anybody that has more money then her.

    April 2, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Amy Jacobson

    I don't think Obama would be a good leader of our country but the man does have the right to get annoyed by someone who crosses the line infront of 3rd graders.

    How the campgain figured that the pictures will go on ebay is beyond me. Also, would anyone pay for such a picture? WHY?

    April 2, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. twister49 - oklahoma

    you didn't think that you were rude in this comment:

    FNJ in PA April 2nd, 2008 4:58 pm ET

    HILLARY supporters are the strangest, and
    rudest people EVER.

    April 2, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Steve

    So, none of you have ever been annoyed by or cross with someone in public that you felt was not respecting your privacy or making unfair demands?

    Obama is human, just like the rest of us, and has to deal an amount of pressure and intrusion that is tremendous. Cut him some slack.

    April 2, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Adam - TX

    Obama, if little things like this set you off, how are you expected to handle the problems of the country? You are a political puppet!

    April 2, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Mel

    This is not news we want to hear. Stalkers can be dangerous.
    Great job, Secret Service

    April 2, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. jj

    BO's arrogance is OUTRAGEOUS!!!! Quote "Brother..you are working my last nerve".....so presidential.......WHat a joke for a candidate for president. BO GO HOME!!!!

    April 2, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Talimee

    GASP! The guy is pompous? NO! I wouldnt have believed it after seeing him run for POTUS with hardly any experience, change in Congress, policies created and coalitions built. Wow newsbreak.

    April 2, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Cami

    Crimany! He can't take a picture with everybody, least of all stalking weirdos out to reap personal gain.

    Obama's reaction is certainly far less rude than Chelsea's repeated "NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!" comebacks of late.

    April 2, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Nic

    I'm sorry, there's no reasonable, intelligent way to spin this against Obama. Watch the video. This man was being extremely rude and pushy. It hardly calls for, "ooh, hope no world leaders want a picture taken with him." Yes–Gordon Brown, annoying e-Bay stalker, po-tay-to, po-tah-to. Spare me. Good for him for keeping his cool with the guy as much as he did. And, uh, nice job, Secret Service. Yikes.

    April 2, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Ed in Missouri

    This dude and his buddies went in front of a bunch of kids trying to get their ebay photo. I don't think he was a Hillary supporter, just a greedy person

    April 2, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. ho tc

    Obama is so rude.

    April 2, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. Jeremy

    I'm surprised the SS let the guy stand as close to, even touching, Obama as long as they did. If that guy had been a crazy person with a knife, it could have been Shanksville for the candidate.

    April 2, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. jobblyman

    I though you were a man of the people Mr. Obama. Bowling, eating hot dogs, drinking bud. Such a BIG fake! Wake up America!! Remember what happened the last time we voted for an empty suit!!

    April 2, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Now I get it

    Those who think Obama was not acting appropriately failed to get past the title, let alone view the video. He obviously was being treated rudly by an unstable man. Personally, I would chew out my bodyguards later for not doing there job. They should never let such a clearly unstable person near the next president.

    April 2, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. kmb

    I'm with kab. Who knows what this guy could have done! Being so disruptive, he never should have been allowed to get so close.

    April 2, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. Bit, Alabama

    Who do you think is behind all of this to make Senator Obama look bad before the April 22 primary?


    April 2, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. Mary in Al

    The Secret Service should have stopped this the very first time. Senator Obama was smart to say no. I'll be emailing others about this issue.

    April 2, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. Inga

    The heckler is unconscious – Obama has every right to say no to anything he wishes. We create our own reality. Why should anyone say yes in agreement to someone who disturbs the positive energy flow Obama exudes, for the common good of all. I respect Obama's no!

    April 2, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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