October 22nd, 2010
06:20 PM ET

Could this be President Obama's first iPad signature?

President Obama signed Sylvester Cann's iPad at a rally Thursday.

Sylvester Cann didn't think it would work. But he figured it was worth a try.

And, lo and behold, where others seeking President Obama's signature with a pen and paper had failed, Cann obtained the commander in chief's autograph on his iPad, in what's believed to be the first instance of the president signing an iPad for an autograph-seeker.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The legislative aide was at a rally Thursday at the University of Washington in Seattle when the idea came to him. He was on the rope line, right near where the president would pass by, and he didn't have a pen and paper.

But he did have his iPad.

"I thought, I won't be able to give him a pen, so I might as well pull up a drawing app on the iPad and see if I can make it happen," said Cann, a University of Washington alumnus.

Using the Adobe Ideas app, he wrote his request on the iPad screen - "Mr. President, sign my iPad" - and held it up as Sen. Patty Murray made her way down the line, followed by President Obama.

At first, a Secret Service agent nodded disapprovingly at the iPad, Cann said. But, when Cann shook Obama's hand and gestured toward the iPad, the president appeared to be intrigued.

"I said, 'you can sign it with your finger,' and I showed him how to do it in the corner," he said.

A YouTube video shows the president signing the screen and smiling at Cann before walking off.

"I definitely got the sense that he was surprised. It didn’t seem like he had done it before," Cann said. "But I also got the sense he thought it was a cool idea, because he looked back up at me quickly, like he thought it was fun."

People around him with pens and paper were not allowed to obtain a signature, Cann said, so they took pictures of his iPad.

At first, Cann thought little of the digital autograph, until friends pointed out that it could be the first-ever "Obama iPad signature."

Since then, Cann's phone has been ringing, and he has set up a website and posted the YouTube video documenting the encounter.

"I think it’s fun," he said. "I'm a big fan of technology, so when people are able to do things like this, it's using technology to its fullest advantage. It's cool."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Technology
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. U.S. Major Captain John Smith

    Don't understand how people can make enough money to buy a bar and become a lush.
    Share a little of the resource. Its probable this signing was an attempt to increase the legitimacy of MERS.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Brieske

    I'm tired of Obama's Elmer Gantry tricks. The15 teens and twentysomethings passing out at the same time in the 72 degree heatwave during one of his speeches was a prime example of a religious tent revival trick from the Great Depression.
    Now we got this staged kid. Just a plant so Obama can be hip and cool. And no, none of this is worthy of being news. But it kinda interesting seeing what he pull next.
    Flying nuns on invisible guide wires would be kinda funny. Obama could say, oh look the real conservative women are leaving. There's all kinds of stuff he could do. For example, a David Copperfield trick.
    He has a trillion dollars stacked neatly in a huge pile on stage. Everybody looks at it in awe. Then a curtain comes down and covers it. Then Obama says, now watch this. Then he says, abrakadabra. Spins around one time. Jumps in the air twice, snaps his fingers three times and says wa la! The curtain lifts and the trillion dollars has just disappeared.
    Obama smiling asks the audience, want to see it again?

    October 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. independent

    Alot of people on this post need to get a life.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. yonas

    Obama Farted.
    Obama ate a Chessburger
    Obama fixed the economoy? and people are back to work? no war its all peace and silence? No

    October 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bryan

    So to everyone asking "Why is this news?"
    You saw the headline and clicked and read it. Why?

    This is just neat. Noting wrong with that. CNN places these stories on their website where they will get the most traffic. This one is popular so it ends up in the front. The more of "us" that read it, the more front and center the story will be on the site.

    Personally, I liked it. Is it bloody massacres, and riots, and plane crashes. Nope

    October 22, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris Thompson


    October 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. shiny

    This President ROCKS!

    October 22, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kath in Cleveland

    @x (Ah, our President...just another typical stupid reggin.) x – You must be just another typical coward and a spineless racist. Did Sarah help you make up that new word of yours? Or are you just dyslexic? Nope...I'm sure you are a coward. I'm bet you're the type who refers to black people by the N-word when you're among your 'peers', or you think the black person won't hear you. But you aren't man enough to say it to their face for fear of receiving the beating you would so rightly deserve. And I would stand by and watch them do it. You are ignorant.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jeffbo

    B ody O der

    October 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les917

      That would be Odor. If you are going to try to use third-grade style insults, at least SPELL them correctly? How pathetic.

      October 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kath in Cleveland

    @x - awwwwww. Did they remove your offensive post? Maybe because YOU are offensive!

    October 22, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jim Brieske

    Kath in Cleveland. There is such a thing as freedom of speech. There must be only a small amount of logic in the minds of many black people. Or am I wrong? Let's see.
    First of all, they blame white people for slavery which is absurd. As if all of us are incapable of reading historical books regarding slavery. Heck, black people are still kidnapping each other in Africa.
    Then there's the n word. How can a group of people expect another group not to use a name they call each other? Laughable. Oh, you can't say the n word but we can. Idiotic, somewhat childish with downright pathetic reasoning.

    October 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Otto

    Given the high level of hate you people have for the president; no wonder so many of you are !diots! This goes to show the level of ignorance that has taken over since he became president. Funny...not one of you has the respect his dog Bo gets and yet "Y'all" can't give it up. There are rasist nature in all animals, but the so called human race it seems is full of pigs; just read the grunts you people wrote. Then again, because your ignorance is at a high level, most of you can't read.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Justin, Wayne - PA

    Awesome! President Obama is my hero! As soon as Democrats get through this election and the attacks from the Party of NO, I hope to buy my daughter an iPad for the Holidays! ... She won't leave mine alone ... ha ha.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. T-2000

    I'M THE HEAD OF THE MOTHAF*****G STATE N***A!. Signed by: Baracka Flacka

    October 22, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • OneHoodAss>>>

      hahahaa Got a main b!tch, and a mistress...

      October 29, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jim Brieske

    independant. I am amazed that a person with your great reasoning ability (you are capable of making decisions by yourself) or... should you change names? I know, how's this one?
    embalmer, that's it. That way you can tell lots of people to get a life and have it be somewhat reasonable.

    October 23, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
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