Monday, October 17, 2011

President Obama Says First Lady "Doesn't Mind" If Kids Eat Halloween Candy

President stocks up on sweet treats during second foodie pitstop of American Jobs Act Bus Tour...
After a smoked pork take-out lunch gleaned at the first foodie pitstop of his three-day bus tour, President Obama on Monday afternoon stopped at the family-owned Mast General Store in Boone, North Carolina, home of Appalachian State University. The store is a candy lover's paradise, its sales floor laden with with tub after tub of confections. The President loaded a bucket with maple nut clusters, macaroons, and York Peppermint Patties to bring aboard his armored bus.

Back home at the White House, his wife was in the midst of hosting a South Lawn party for school officials from across the US, invited because they offer nutrition education and veggie-intensive school lunches to students. In the store, a clerk guided the President through the candy selection, holding the green bucket as he dug through the candy.

"So I just scoop it up?" the President asked. "That's how it's done?"

One of the reporters made a pithy observation.

"You won't find this in the White House garden, Mr. President," he said. The Eater in Chief was quick to respond.

"On Halloween, the First Lady doesn't mind," President Obama replied, smiling, as he scooped more candy into his bucket.

Rounding a corner in the store, the President was dazzled by another long candy counter. "It just goes on forever," he said.

"Bo says hi"
After putting more sweets in his bucket, Mr. Obama petted a little black dog that looked like a miniature version of First Dog Bo.

"Bo says hi," Mr. Obama said to the dog's owner.

As cameras flashed, a group of girls mugged behind the President.

"Are you guys making rabbit ears behind me?" he asked.

Then it was time to once again heft a baby, as he did while chatting up voters earlier at the barbecue joint. The lucky baby in Candyland was one-year-old Mason Wainwright, whom the President pronounced a "good-looking boy."

Later, as he shook hands in the front of the store, another baby started screaming, and the President asked, "Did someone take his camera away?" (Above: The cheeky girls mug behind the President)

Outside, the President worked two rope lines on the main street, quizzing young people about their schooling, and congratulating a young woman who said she was working on her college thesis.

The President also stopped in at Our Daily Bread bakery, though his press pool was not allowed to follow him inside. Then he climbed back aboard Ground Force One, and headed for Miller's Creek, NC, to give a speech at West Wilkes High School.

Information: Mast General Store is at 630 West King Street, Boone, NC 28607. Phone: (866) 367-6278

*AP photos

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