"You don’t mess with something if it ain’t broke," President says at $35,800/ticket fundraiser...
President Obama likes a nice hot dog. He's had numerous hot dog excursions this year, with the most high-profile moment in March, when he treated British Prime Minister David Cameron to a hot dog dinner as they watched an NCAA men's basketball game in Ohio. On Tuesday night, there was more hot dog love, when Costco's now-legendary $1.50 hot dog and Pepsi combo was a topic of discussion during a fundraiser at the lavish Hunt's Point, Washington home of Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal, and his wife Janet. (Above: An official White House photo of the President enjoying the All American dish)
Costco's $1.50 junkfood deal, available across the US and unchanged in price since it was introduced in 1985, is in stark contrast to the ticket price for the fundraiser, $35,800/person. That'd be more than 23,000 combos.
Sinegal kicked the hot dog discussion off as he introduced the President from beneath an elegant white tent in his backyard, complete with chandeliers and a nice view of Lake Washington. Sinegal told about 20 guests that after he announced his retirement, he received a congratulatory phone call from the Eater in Chief, in which the President expressed worry about the continuation of the hot dog deal.
“He said, is there any truth to the fact that maybe with your departure the $1.50 hot dog and Pepsi is going to go away?" Sinegal said.
"And I must tell you, there was a bit of concern in his voice. You talk about somebody who is really watching the economy.”
During his own remarks a short time later, the President said he wanted to correct the hot dog story.
"When I called Jim, I said congratulations. I was confident about the hot dog," the President said. "You don’t mess with something if it ain’t broke."
He got appreciative laughter from his audience.
"But what I did say was, you know, [Janet] is probably going to be driven crazy if you’re just sitting around all day. You need to get involved in the campaign because you’re a little too young to just be puttering around.”
During a fundraiser on Monday, President Obama entertained guests with a different foodie story, sharing details about aide Marvin Nicholson's junkfood addiction and his "traumatized" reaction to a fundraising menu created by chef Alice Waters.
The President also praised Costco as “representative of what America is all about – entrepreneurship, vision, value for your money, treating your workers right, doing well and doing good at the same time, and being part of a broader community that takes your responsibilities for this city, this state and this country really seriously.”
Gov. Christine Gregoire and Rep. Adam Smith were among the guests.
The President finished speaking at about 8:37 PM and pool was ushered out as he began the Q&A portion of the evening. "One nugget as we were leaving, he noted that his mother went to high school in the area, so he can claim some local roots," pool reported.
The President spent Tuesday night at the Hilton Bellevue hotel, and today heads to New Orleans for the final day of a four-day campaign swing.
*Photo by Pete Souza/White House, taken on June 3, 2011, at Rudy’s Hot Dog in Toledo, Ohio. Apparently the President believes hot dogs are Ohio's signature dish.