President Obama stopped by a bookstore while in Iowa City on Thursday -- a rare visit to a retail outlet -- and mugged for photographers by picking up books by Republicans Karl Rove and Mitt Romney.
Obama, the author of two bestsellers himself, browsed at Prairie Lights, an independent bookstore he's been to before.
"Well, this used to be my favorite place," the president told the owner as she showed him around, according to the pool report. Obama spent months stumping in Iowa in advance of the January 2008 first-in-the-nation caucus vote.
He went on to pick up "No Apology" by Romney and "Courage and Consequence" by Rove, brandishing them before reporters.
"What do you think, guys?" he asked, holding up a hardback copy of each before setting them back down.
Obama bought two books for his daughters, Malia, 11 and Sasha, 8: "Journey to the River Sea" by Eva Ibbotson and "The Secret of Zoom" by Lynne Jonell. He paid in cash.
He also paid $37.44 for a "Star Wars" pop-up book for Ethan Gibbs, 6, the son of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.