Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 19, 2014

Posts by John Gramlich

1 Post

January 10, 2014

POTUS Crashed My Leisurely Lunch

One minute you’re stuffing your face with a burrito, and the next the Secret Service is snooping through your bags and subjecting you to a full body scan.

POTUS Crashed My Leisurely Lunch

(John Gramlich/CQ Roll Call)

This is what happens when the president decides to chow down at the same D.C. restaurant as you.

So it went on Friday afternoon, when President Barack Obama trekked up to The Coupe in Columbia Heights for a policy luncheon at the 24-hour diner.

Patrons (this reporter included) were tipped off that someone notable was en route when an army of suits and earpieces showed up to sweep the place. The bomb-sniffing dog quickly changed the focus of everyone’s VIP theory from singer Chris Brown, who was in town for his arraignment earlier in the week, to either POTUS or FLOTUS.

Obama strode in a few minutes later and worked his way around the diner, shaking hands and making small talk with the 50 or so customers in the place.

POTUS Crashed My Leisurely Lunch

(John Gramlich/CQ Roll Call)

Lest anyone think the infant-kissing stops when you’re a lame duck, he also picked up some babies — one of whom daringly played with 44’s face. Another baby appeared to be having a bad hair day, prompting Obama to jokingly compare the windswept child to coiffure kingpin Donald Trump.

According to the White House, the purpose of the president’s visit was to dine with five young people “who are spearheading creative outreach efforts to connect with and help enroll young consumers” in coverage expanded by the Affordable Care Act.

POTUS Crashed My Leisurely Lunch

(John Gramlich/CQ Roll Call)

The group huddled together for about an hour, just five feet away from your Columbia Heights pooler, with Obama wearing shirtsleeves and ordering what appeared to be the Coupe Burger — accompanied by sauteed spinach as well as a side of hot-sauce-laced onion rings — drinking iced tea and eventually paying for the meal with a credit card.

No word on the generosity of the president’s tip.

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