Subject: WH Travel Pool Report #8b — color and pie
The president’s bus pulled into the parking lot of Bingham’s Family Restaurant, much to the surprise of delighted patrons.
“Hello everybody!” Obama said as he walked through the door. He walked over to the bakery case, adorned with a “Try the Pie” sign to greet the employees and check the selection of pies.
“I hear you got the best pie,” he told the owner and about a dozen employees who had gathered to see the president. “That’s the word on the street.”
“Do you know your senator, Bob Casey? He loves pie,” he said, introducing the senator.
Obama asked how long Bingham’s had been open, and the owner, Dave Scarpetta, said the restaurant had been around since 1983. But he bought it in 1998.
“It looks like you get some great traffic,” Obama said.
“So what are you particularly proud of?” Obama asked. Scarpetta recommended the coconut cream pie.
“Here’s what we’re going to do. One coconut cream pie. I think we should get one cherry pie. This is just my order – I don’t know about you (to Casey). And I think we should get a pecan pie,” Obama said.
An employee said that a coconut crème pies goes for $12.95.
The president chatted for a couple minutes with Scarpetta, saying something partially inaudible about owning a restaurant being a tough business. “It’s not as hard as being president,” Scarpetta said. POTUS replied: “The only thing about you is you’re not term-limited.”
After the president moved on to chat with others, Scarpetta said he’d been told that Obama was partial to coconut crème pie, so that’s why he suggested it. “I think that’s his favorite. I got the inside scoop,” Scarpetta said.
Obama then made his way around the restaurant, shaking hands and talking to customers and employees. Five patrons sat on stools at a counter, and another dozen were seated in booths on the side of the restaurant Obama visited.
Print poolers were kept at a distance and could not hear most of the exchanges.
The pool waited outside while Obama remained in the restaurant several more minutes, eventually emerging with a pie box in hand. He stopped to greet a few folks waiting to see him outside. “Hey sweetie,” he said to a girl who had just come from a local fair. “Where’d you get the face paint? Did you play some games?”
And with that, the pool was ushered to the bus.
At 3:42 p.m., the motorcade was back on the highway, en route to Scranton.
Colleen McCain Nelson
The Wall Street Journal