President Obama was doing his favorite thing this week: talking to crowds of adoring young people who already agree with him while acting like he persuaded them about something.
They also seemed to give Obama the impression that he’s a really funny guy. On Wednesday, he told a University of Michigan crowd of 1,400 that he visited a local deli, Zingerman’s. He proceeded to tell a long story about ordering the small Reuben sandwich, which he said was “killer.” That got a good laugh. Then he explained how he thought the sandwich was too big, so he shared it with his adviser, Valerie Jarrett.
“After I finished [my] half, I wanted [her] half back,” Obama said. “But it was too late, all she had was the pickle — so I took the pickle.”
“Took the pickle” was a huge laugh line.
Pickle is a funny word, but still; when an audience thinks this is a knee-slapper, you know it’s not a rough crowd.
But Obama had a serious point to make as well. Zingerman’s “is a business that treats its workers well and rewards honest work with honest wages. And that’s what I’m here to talk about today.” He then segued into a pitch for raising the minimum wage.
National Review’s Andrew Johnson noted that Zingerman’s is pretty expensive. That small Reuben cost $13.99 — pickle included. The large goes for nearly $17. The irony might have been lost on Obama that Zingerman’s “honest wages” also lead to high prices.