Thursday, November 01, 2012

Joe Biden Visits Ross' Restaurant In Iowa, Following In The Foodsteps Of President Obama

President's visit fulfilled a 2008 campaign promise; Vice President stops for breakfast ahead of rallies...
Stumping through Iowa on Thursday morning, Vice President Joe Biden made an "off the record" stop at Ross' Restaurant in Bettendorf, a 24-hour eatery that President Obama made famous in June of 2011 with his own visit.  The Eater in Chief was fulfilling a 2008 campaign promise when he dropped by, which subsequently led to the owners having fifteen minutes of fame as they made their delicious, calorie-bomb Magic Mountain and Volcano sandwiches on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show.  Biden, joined by his sister Valerie Biden Owens, sat at the counter and had a healthier breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, wheat toast and coffee--with a side of photo ops with the thrilled customers--when they arrived shortly before 9:00 AM.  (Above:  The Vice President and his sister at the coutner)

Ross' is considered a must-stop for the many, many candidates who make the required campaign pilgrimage to Iowa because it's a "quintessential" American eatery, and popular not only with locals, but with the many truckers who drive through Iowa. Photos of famed political figures fill the walls, and Biden dined within feet of a photo collage of his boss' visit. Owner Cynthia Ross-Freidhof, the subject of Presidential love, was far away in Chicago when her second-most-famous customer arrived.  (Above, with the President in 2011)

There were only about ten customers as Biden entered Ross'. After a quick hello to wait staff, he and his sister sat at the counter, and the Veep spoke with Ross-Freidhof by cell phone. 

"I wish I could have met you as well," Biden was overheard telling her.

"I was a little worried. I walked in and saw Ron Paul and a picture of Newt Gingrich. I thought I better not order coffee," Biden said, laughing, then added "I'm joking, I'm joking."

The Vice President continued to chat with Ross-Freidhof, then he asked her how old her grandkids are. (Above, talking on the phone)

"Happy birthday," he said, before the conversation moved  to Halloween.

"That's the thing I miss about where we are, where we live, no trick or treaters can get through the gate," the Vice President said about his highly secure official residence in DC, the Naval Observatory.

Ross-Freidhof comes from a family filled with Republicans, and is married to one, too.  President Obama grabbed her sparkly pink cellphone during a 2008 campaign rally in Davenport and tried to woo the restaurateur's husband Ron Friedhof into the Dem fold, which subsequently led to his visit:  He'd drop by if he became President, Mr. Obama promised.  Mission accomplished.

"I really appreciate your support," Biden told Ross-Freidhof as the conversation continued.

The White House was so thrilled with the President's 2011 visit that it was Photo of the Day on the official website, and featured in the video series West Wing Week.  (Above: In this White House photo, the President displays the sandwich he ordered, which is Texas toast topped with fiery chili and fries)

Done with breakfast, the Vice President  went back to his hotel to tape a Top Ten list for Late Show with David Letterman, which will air Thursday night.  Then it was on to a rally at West Middle School in Muscatine, Iowa.  Later on Thursday the Veep travels to Fort Dodge, Iowa for a campaign event at the Opera House at Fort Museum.

The Vice President started the day by celebrating Catholic mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport; today is All Saints' Day.

President Obama on Thursday kicked off a massive campaign tour through battleground statesHe will visit Dubuque, Iowa on Saturday.  First Lady Obama visited the state last week.

Info: Ross' is at 430 14th Street, Bettendorf, Iowa, 52722. Phone: 563-355-7573.

*Top photo by Larry Fisher Quad City Times; Biden phone photo by Jennifer Epstein/Politico; photo of the President with sandwich by Pete Souza/White House