Last week President Obama made yet another lunch-hour cheeseburger foray, this time to a Five Guys outlet near the Washington Nationals’ ballpark.
So far, the president has been sighted at Ben’s Chili Bowl, Ray’s Hell Burgers across the river in Arlington and now at a Five Guys. It’s fun to watch, although, as with all presidential maneuverings, it’s about as spontaneous as a production of “The Kennedy Center Honors.” On the Five Guys outing, the President just happened to have NBC anchor guy Brian Williams in tow.
And why the unblinking fascination with cheeseburgers? If the President is going to hit the streets, why should he limit himself and his traveling party to cheese pucks?
Suppose, instead of going out for burgers and fries, the President opted to slip out - in a spontaneous kind of way - to a downtown saloon for happy hour, maybe a bar on 19th St., not far the White House, maybe with the Vice President:
POTUS and VP approach the bar, Obama in a red tie, Biden in blue …
Biden: Hey, Ace. How about getting a couple drinks for me and my father down here? Hahahaha
Kevin the bartender: How did you know my name was Ace?
Biden: Just a lucky guess. Hahahaha. Anyway, the Boss and I are playing a little hooky.
If the First Lady calls, you know, mum’s the word. He’s not here. We told her we had to go see Hillary at the State Department, then stop by the hardware store on the way home. Hahahaha.
Bartender: Got it. Can I get anyone a drink?
Biden: Whattaya think, Mr. President? I’m going to have a Heineken.
POTUS (to bartender): There are those who would argue that this is inappropriate, that the Chief Executive should not be at a downtown happy hour at this point in our nation’s history. But I think most Americans would understand that situations such as this one afford me the opportunity to get outside the White House bubble, to walk among the people as Michelle and I did when we lived in Chicago.
Bartender: Would you like a drink, sir?
POTUS: I’ll have a Grey Goose martini, straight up, with extra olives.
Biden: Whoa, Mr. President. Grey Goose martini, straight up? Is that what you drank when you were a community organizer? Hahahaha.
Bartender: Who are all these other people, and what are they drinking?
Biden: Oh, these guys. Just the press pool, a few photographers, Secret Service. That’s Anderson Cooper, the CNN guy, and his crew. He’s doing a spontaneous day-in-the-life thing with the President. Hahahaha. What are you having, Anderson?
Cooper: I should like a Pimm’s Cup. I believe.
POTUS (looking at the entourage): And we’ll need six Miller Lights, five Budweisers, a vodka and tonic, a gin and tonic, a Jack and Coke, two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, a red wine, an iced tea and a Bloody Mary. Did I get everybody?
Entourage: Yes, sir.
POTUS: Many Americans are feeling the strain of the economic downturn and it must be said that we have a long way to go. We’re working hard every day to make that happen. But judging from the atmosphere in this room, it seems the people have maintained a sense of conviviality and good cheer. Can you get ESPN2 on that TV? Love to get a White Sox score.
Bartender: I’ll get the manager.
Biden: Hey, beertender, do you have any bar snacks, pretzels, nuts?
Biden: No? In Scranton, where I grew up, even the fancy joints had bar snacks.
Bartender: In Scranton, the fancy joints make the bartenders cover up their tattoos.
Biden: Whoa, a comedian here. Funny guy. Hahahaha.
POTUS: Joe, a question.
Biden: Yes, sir.
POTUS: Were we right to leave Rahm at the White House? He seemed upset.
Biden: He’ll get over it, sir. I told him to do something useful. You know, call up Harry Reid and explain to him what a Democrat is. Hahahaha
POTUS: Joe, Senator Reid is to be commended for his accomplishments, growing up in the relative poverty of his Searchlight, Nevada home, ably representing the interests of the good people of his home state and, indeed, of all Americans
Biden: Just kidding, sir. A little humor. Good old Harry. Hahahaha. I know you’re still mad at me about that inauguration joke with the Chief Justice.
POTUS: Joe, it is so important that we raise the level of discourse here in Washington. As I said in my recent speech at Notre Dame, we must ask how each of us can remain firm to our principles and fight for what we consider right without demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side.
Anderson Cooper: Well said, Mr. President. I’ll have another Pimm’s Cup.
Biden: Well, strictly bar rules, sir, all due respect, but maybe you ought to take that stuff up with Cheney and Gingrich. Bartender, I need another Heineken down here. A bird can’t fly on one wing. Hahahaha.
Bartender: Another Grey Goose, Mr. President?
POTUS: Nothing for me. Well, maybe just a splash. And give Joe the check. It’s always best to keep him occupied….