A surprise eat n' greet in the Badger State...
Vice President Joe Biden is spending almost as much time making 'surprise' foodie stops on the campaign trail as his boss. On Thursday the ice-cream loving Veep stopped at the Acoustic Café in downtown Eau Claire, Wisc., for an eat n' greet with citizens in the picturesque college town. Told by aides that he actually had enough time to sit down for a while, Biden parked himself at a table with prospective voters. He enjoyed a turkey and provolone pita sandwich with yellow mustard and tomatoes, washed down with a Diet Pepsi, as he talked issues, including the Obama Administration's auto bailout. (Above, in action)
The stop at 12:39 PM came after a campaign rally at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Veep signed autographs and posed for photos during his 45-minute visit (above).
From the pool report, misspellings kept intact:
"VPOTUS got into his motorcade at 12:39 CT after speaking at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He drove a short distance to downtown Eau Claire and stopped for an otr at the Acoustic Café, a coffee and sandwich shop. He wore a blue Ralph Lauren polo, business slacks and a dark belt with silver tip set.
He was greeted by applause when he walked in. A number of folks had come from his campus rally. He worked his way around the room, posing for photos with diners, engaging in short conversations, signing autographs. A few of the exchanges:
Molly Meyer, 24, said VPOTUS asked her and two other young women if they were students. “I said I’m a nursing student,’’ she told your pooler. “He said nice words about nurses.’’
He spoke and posed with three women, one of whom, Diane Oberbeck, introduced herself. “Diane, how are you?’’ VPOTUS asked. He posed for a picture with his arms wrapped around all three and continued to keep his arms around them as they chatted.
Later Oberbeck told Pooler no vice-president has visited Eau Claire since Dan Quayle in 1992.
“Hi, nice to meet you,’’ a young woman in a green “Rodgers” Green Bay jersey said, wearing an Obama/Biden button.
A child, Noah Olson approached with his father, Michael Olson. “How old are you, 7 or 8?’’ VPOTUS asked. Noah said he was 8 and a half. He and his father had been at the rally. VPOTUS wrote and signed a note to Noah’s teacher excusing his absence: “Please ask Mrs. Fleming to excuse you today.’’
VPOTUS got a hug from Christina Funk, 29, a RN. He held his hands on her shoulders while speaking to her, and she teared up a bit. Later, she said she had told him she was a critical care nurse (she was in her scrubs). “He thanked me and called nurses angfels and he spoke about his time in the ICU. He said he spend time in the ICU. He very much teared me up.’’
“Hard work, guys,’’ he said in an aside to two men while posing for a picture with his arms around two women. One of the men, Ron Krienke, was wearing a shirt with the name of the auto dealer where he works as parts manager in Chippewa Falls on it. VPOTUS told him he was the son of an auto dealer. VPOTUS put his hand on Krienke’s shoulder and told him that car dealers are the first to reel an economy going into recession and the first to be lifted when the recession ends.
Krienke said later (but not to VPOTUS) that he had voted for Obama-Biden in 2008, the first time he hadn’t voted Republican. “I’m still undecided,’’ he said about 2012. He said the Obama administration deserved credit for rescuing G.M. and the auto industry, “absolutely.’’
VPOTUS arrived at the ordering counter. “OK,k what do we got?” he said. The counter woman said, “Hot Hoagies. Pitas.’’
“How about, um, a pita witth, can you do, do you have turkey? How about provolen and turkey. Do you have sliced tomatoes? Yellow mustard. And, I’d like a Diest Pepsi.’’
He pulled a $20 bill and told the counter woman he was also paying for a customer in line just ahead of him, Pauline Schultz. But she had already paid. VPOTUS asked his staff if he had time to stay and eat. “Do I have time to sit down and eat? I’d like to sit.’’
He was told he did, and he sat down at a table with several diners. Pool was escorted out at 1:05 p.m, and did not report further. VPOTUS exited at 1:30 and rejoined his motorcade, which is now heading to the airport."
Poole on duty was Trip Gabriel, New York Times.
Info: The Acoustic Café is at 505 South Barstow Street Eau Claire, WI, 54701. Phone: 715- 832-9090.
*Photos by Christopher Dilts/Obama for America