Wednesday, October 26, 2011

President Obama Talks Food With Jay Leno

The President describes his feast from Roscoe's House of Chicken n' Waffles; talks Halloween treats; and suggests that few people are aware that his wife loves French fries and pizza...
UPDATE, Oct. 29: Reese's candy added to White House Halloween treat bags
Tuesday night, during his second visit as Commander in Chief to The Tonight Show, President Obama had loads to tell host Jay Leno about food. A pre-released video clip showed the President joking that the White House will "get egged" if First Lady Obama keeps putting dried fruit in Halloween goodie bags; the President said "a couple Reese's Pieces or something" should be added. But there was plenty more. (Above: A White House photo of the President & Leno)

When asked about his Monday visit to locally beloved Los Angeles eatery Roscoe's House of Chicken n' Waffles, the President gave a finger lickin' good account of chowing down on his take-out order in the Presidential limo. Mr. Obama had the #9, the Country Boy, which is 3 wings with a waffle on the side. He admitted that he actually had no intention of eating the chow, which he carried out of the restaurant in a plastic bag (at left).

"Originally it was just a way to be out there and say hi to everybody but once we go in the car it smelled pretty good."

So he caved in, Mr. Obama said.

"I'm eating the wings...I got the hot sauce on there--and the fancy presidential limousine is there smelling like...chicken," he said, to applause from the audience.

"And we actually were going to a fundraiser with Will Smith and Jada and I didn't realize it was so close. So suddenly we pull up and my sleeves are rolled up and I got a spot on my tie and my fingers are all--and i'm looking for a Wet One...and picking chicken out of my teeth."

"It was not elegant," President Obama said, adding "but outstanding chicken."

He got applause and whoops from the audience. The fundraiser was at the Hancock Park mansion of Hollywood producer John Lassiter, where an elegant dinner was served to guests who paid $35,800 each for the opportunity to meet the hot sauce-stained President.

Asked by Leno if the First Lady looks askance at such dietary indulgences, the President made it abundantly clear that he has little contact with the media outlets that criticize his wife's every public meal.

"Michelle--quiet as it's kept--she loves french fries. She loves pizza. She loves chicken," he said. "Her point is just in moderation."

The First Lady has "admitted" her love for French fries in interviews, and her public dining excursions routinely make global headlines.

Mrs. Obama allows daughters Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10, to snack, the President said, and added that she's done "a great job" with the Let's Move! campaign.

Except for Halloween. That's when the President suggested the White House will get egged unless there's more candy in the treat bags.

"Put in a couple Reese's Pieces or something," he joked.

For the 2010 White House Halloween celebration, the President and First Lady handed out treats in cellophane bags tied with white ribbons, and the bags contained goodies that were identical to those given to kids for Halloween 2009: A sweet dough butter cookie made by Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, a box of White House M&Ms, and the dreaded dried fruit. Yosses told Obama Foodorama that the cookies were made with honey from the South Lawn White House Beehive, as well as organic flour and sugar.

The President also told Leno that Mrs. Obama is in much better shape than he is, and it's "embarrassing."

"She'll get up there a half an hour earlier than me. She will have already run 10 miles or something."

The President covered plenty of other issues during his hourlong appearance, of course. Go here for the full video. The visit was Mr. Obama's fourth overall to The Tonight Show, and came on the second day of a western-state campaign swing that finished today on the snowy city of Denver, Colorado.

*Photo by Pete Souza/White House

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