Election Day ritual for Chicago power players: Manny`s Deli - FOX 32 News Chicago

Election Day ritual for Chicago power players: Manny`s Deli

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

President Obama isn't the only local observing Election Day rituals. An iconic Near South Side deli has been feeding Chicago's power players for decades. Election Day was no exception.

Manny's Deli at Jefferson and Roosevelt has a steam table and carving stations that feature a mouth-watering array of traditional Jewish-American cuisine. President Obama was among the occasional patrons, before he moved to the White House.

His regular order is now enshrined as the Presidential Special: cherry pie, corned beef and potato pancake. FOX Chicago News found a lot of local politicians making an Election Day pilgrimage to Manny's - some invoking decades of superstition - on Tuesday afternoon.

"How can you go wrong with corned beef at Manny's? You can't go wrong," State Senate President John Cullerton said. "I wouldn't want to try anything else. It'd be bad luck.

Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) said eating at Manny's is an Election Day tradition.

"This is a great place to be on Election Day. I have to go for the corned beef, of course, a potato pancake with a lot of sour cream and a little bit of apple sauce, all at the same time," Fioretti said. "And, since I've been up as long as you probably have, a good cup of coffee."

"We love coming here," Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown said. "I'll have a salad, because, of course, you know, I try to eat a little healthy

US Sen. Dick Durbin couldn't imagine being anywhere else on Election Day.

"I came here in '96 with U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, who ordered spaghetti, which may be the only time that they've served spaghetti at Manny's that I know of," Durbin said, with a laugh. "[I had] pastrami, of course… I'm going to split it with my wife."

Mayor Emanuel's political director, Tom Bowen, was dining on the corned beef with two associates - only a few feet from the special table reserved for David Axelrod. Many came hoping to see the influential Presidential friend and advisor.

Sources, though, said he was too busy to sneak out of Obama for America campaign headquarters downtown. When FOX Chicago talked to him by telephone, Axelrod said he'll soon have more time to visit Manny's.

"This is my last campaign," Axelrod said. "I don't anticipate doing government service again. I'm going down to the University of Chicago and spending half my time down there."

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