Subject: Travel Pool #4 – OTR
We’re in Ohio, it’s campaign season, it’s close to noon. POTUS stopping for an unscheduled lunch break. After a uneventful ride on I-71/75 through the KY/OH state line (and the Brent Spence bridge, which POTUS wanted to fix as a part of his American Jobs Act last fall), motorcade came to a screeching halt in downtown Cincinnati around 11:40. POTUS’ restaurant choice is “Skyline Chili” on W 7th and Vine, where he ordered a “four-way with beans and no onions” and “two cheese Coneys” to go, before mingling with patrons. The four-way is chili, spaghetti and beans, says the cashier.
Background on the place, from the campaign:
“Nicholas Lambrinides was inspired to open up a restaurant by his mother and grandmother’s cooking when he was growing up in Greece. In 1949, he opened up his first Skyline Chili location in Cincinnati, Ohio. The chili is still made from Nicholas’s original recipe which is a secret blend of spices and other fine ingredients. Skyline Chili is dedicated to customer service and a great atmosphere as well as Nicholas’ American dream. They have locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida as well as a grocery microwavable line.”
Cashier Niada Johnson, 37, said she had no idea he was coming until she got to work today. “It’s so awesome,” she said as Obama greeted diners. Johnson said she voted for him in 2008 and plans to do so again.
“Sounds like you’re a working man and you’re taking care of your family,” Obama told a man in a FedEx uniform, who told him he has four kids, ages 15,13,10 and (inaud.). “You’ve got some grocery bills,” Obama joked.
To one young boy at the counter, ” he said “is school going OK?” To a child at a table, he said, “They got a waterpark around here?”
With a plastic bag in his hand, that he gave to Nicholson, POTUS left the restaurant and worked a line of screaming people, many young, before hopping back into his limo at noon sharp. Motorcading through downtown Cincinnati for the first event (a closed press fund-raiser).
Big help from Politico’s Donovan Slack, again.
White House Correspondent