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Barack and Joe go to White Castle … I mean, Ray’s Hell Burger


(Read caption) President Obama and Vice President Biden receive their cheeseburger lunch orders at Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia.

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The Daily Guidance from the White House said “12:30 lunch in Oval Office, closed press.”

But now we know better. By "we," I mean the White House press corps, where this reporter had pool duty Tuesday.

Those wild and crazy guys at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue summoned the motorcade, and off we went across the Roosevelt Bridge into Arlington, Va., to Ray’s Hell Burger -- a joint so new it still doesn't have a sign up.

Obama and Biden entered through the front door. The press pool -- yours truly included -- entered through the back. At least Barack and Joe didn’t pull rank and cut the line: The leaders of the free world, all spiffed up in suits and ties, stood patiently with the regular lunch crowd, waiting their turn.

Obama then looked toward the pool and said, “Who’s taking orders here? My treat to the pool.”

“Who wants a burger?” Obama said.

Then, to Caren Bohan of Reuters: “You’re in charge of taking everybody’s orders.”

Some declined, but others didn’t want to seem ungracious, so we ordered burgers. (Note: The five of us who did order are making a donation to charity, in lieu of attempting to reimburse POTUS. Caren noted that Obama has fed the press before, such as during the campaign, when he bought ice cream.)

While Obama and Biden waited in line, the lunch crowd stood and gawked, some took pix with cell phones. The two guys in line ahead of them studied their menus, oblivious to who was behind them.

When Obama and Biden reached the front, Obama greeted the two order-takers. A guy named Tim Murray took Obama’s order.


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