Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama Visit to Il Mulino is All About Bills: Lunch With Clinton, No More Bills From Wall Street, A Health Care Bill...

Yesterday President Obama had lunch with former President Bill Clinton in New York, after giving a stern lecture to Wall Street insiders on the anniversary of the collapse of banking giant Lehman Brothers. The two Presidents ate at Il Mulino in Greenwich Village, a small, upscale joint that was closed for the presidential fish fest. Yep, fish was on the menu: Although President Obama declined to inform media about what he ate, Clinton was happy to oblige, perhaps because he's been recently publicly spanked for ordering a cheeseburger, fries, and onion rings right before being the keynote speaker at Weight of the Nation, a CDC-sponsored conference on child obesity. (Pic: POTUS and X-POTUS leave Mulino)

“We had fish, pasta and salad,” Clinton told reporters after the 90-minute meal. “It was very healthy. Even I was healthy.”

Really? Business writer John Carney, a Mulino regular, notes that "Everyone is served antipasti, free of charge, and most meals are concluded with grappa." He adds that the restaurant is famous for its "trend-resistant fare," gruff service, and never answering the reservation line.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said it was President Obama’s idea to have lunch, and that the two Presidents talked about health care and the economy.

“The president mentioned first getting together for lunch…when they spoke just as President Clinton had come back from North Korea,” Gibbs said. “The original hope was to try to get together for lunch last week when the President was up here for the Cronkite memorial, but because of the speech to Congress, we figured it would be an event that would be good to do on this trip.”

Making yesterday an even better day in the History of Obama Foodways, the President's speech at Federal Hall had excellent foodie referents in it, as the President recapped the financial crisis and laid out the menu for moving forward to economic stability:

"We could not separate what was happening in the corridors of our financial institutions from what was happening on the factory floors and around the kitchen tables...We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess that was at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills..."

The President urged Wall Street not to fight regulatory reforms. That's pretty swell advice for the Ag industry, too.

*Read the President's full remarks here. Il Mulino's menu is here. Address: 86 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012-1008 Phone: (212) 673-3783.