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Obama Charged White House Guests for Meals

Wow, this is pretty tacky. Obama charging his guests for their meals? I've never heard of such a thing.

Four of the most powerful business leaders in America arrived at the White House one day last month for lunch with President Barack Obama, sitting down in his private dining room just steps from the Oval Office.

But even for powerful CEOs, there's no such thing as a free lunch: White House staffers collected credit card numbers for each executive and carefully billed them for the cost of the meal with the president.

The White House defended the unusual move as a way to avoid conflicts of interest. But the Bush administration didn't charge presidential guests for meals, one former official said, and at least one etiquette expert found the whole thing unseemly - suggesting it was a serious breach of protocol.

"I'm sure they have their political reasons for doing that, but I think it's not what quote, hospitality, unquote is all about," said Letitia Baldrige, who headed Jacqueline Kennedy's White House staff in the early 1960s. "We've got to relax about this. To have people to the White House and worry about the price of things is laughable."

"I don't know what the menu was, but I'm sure it wasn't braised pheasant," she said.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25627.html#ixzz0MrlnPJSC


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Comments (15)

No word on whether Crowley ... (Below threshold)

No word on whether Crowley and Gates are getting charged for their beers yesterday.

I hope they included a tip ... (Below threshold)
914_62:

I hope they included a tip with their payment... Such as, "resign now while We still have an economy left."

I hope those CEO's checked ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

I hope those CEO's checked their credit card statements to make sure the numbers hadn't been stolen and used somewhere else.

"OK, Muhtar - you had the s... (Below threshold)

"OK, Muhtar - you had the salad, so that's just gonna be $107 million. Ursula, you had the lamb, that's gonna set you back $215 million, hope you liked it. Dave, the Reuben, $125 million. Randall, your card was rejected. You had the personal pan pizza at $175 million. Looks like CSEA now owns $175 million worth of AT&T, eh? Tough break. No, sorry, we don't take checks, too much of a paper trail. Look, you wanna get into it? Wagoner had the french dip and wouldn't cough up and look what happened to him."

By operating a restaurant w... (Below threshold)
Ted:

By operating a restaurant without proper licensing and inspections, the White House is in contravention of DC Code: 47-2827(e); 47-2851 DCMR: Title 23, Ch 24 thru 3000 et Seq

http://dcra.dc.gov/dcra/cwp/view,A,1411,Q,641819.asp

Arrest Barry so he has one more excuse to rant about oppression by whitey.

Good point Ted. Does... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Good point Ted.
Does Obama have a food vendor's license?
He's been selling the KoolAid for some time now.

So PromtperBinky turned the... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

So PromtperBinky turned the White House into a Denny's......
AWESOME!!!!!

I want someone to bill Mich... (Below threshold)
Kathy:

I want someone to bill Michelle's mother for dining at the White House, and while they are at it, why not bill for rent?

Had I been one of those execs, I would have simply said no. Declined to dine. And left as soon as possible, no courtesy required. But then I'm from the South and manners matter here.

Next thing you know they'll be billing the press for slobbering on the furniture. That one I could support.

Eh, and the MSM pontificate... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Eh, and the MSM pontificate about how Barry is such 'a class act'.

That's a real crass act the... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

That's a real crass act there.
I wonder what he charges visiting heads of state.
He doesn't have the first idea what hospitality is about and probably doesn't give a damn from his attitude.

I'm with #8. The only resp... (Below threshold)
Texan99:

I'm with #8. The only response to a "host" who tries to charge you for the meal he invited you to is to decline the food politely, explaining that you're not at all hungry just now, thanks.

This is like those strange couples who want a nicer wedding than they can afford, and try to pass the hat among their guests.

He did that so he can call ... (Below threshold)

He did that so he can call his next tax increase "a built-in tip for a large party".

All these decades later, Gr... (Below threshold)
Brian Richard Allen:

All these decades later, Grandma and you're still Right! Here it is 2009 already and every darned day there are scores who blithely demonstrate that you still cannot make strawberry jam from pigshit!

(And 'specially not if you've lived long on the proceeds of years of the RICO-racketeering crime that, for only one example, "gifted" you the Chicago house on whose jacked-up "equity loans" you lived for years and that have bought the Sixty-Five Hundred Dollar bags and boorish bling to bedazzel all the other Bolshies. And the Eight Hundred Dollar tennies to flaunt at the soup kitchens that are your sail-eared simpleton spouse's "administration's" one and only growth industry!)

Brian Richard Allen
Lost Angeles - Califarniecated 90028
And the Very Far Abroad

In her pos,t #8, Kathy tell... (Below threshold)
Brian Richard Allen:

In her pos,t #8, Kathy tells us she wants someone to bill the outlaw's in-law for fronting the trough at our house and to bill her for rent.

And I agree. So what's the deal, there? And who does one approach to demand an accounting? And wouldn't the Six or Eight Hundred or so Dollars a day it costs to slum it in DC be about the Wright amount to extract?

S, let's see, then: thus far, around seven months at $800.00 per day: USD$170,400.00 aughter just about clear the past due!

B A - L A - CA - And the Very Far Away

Cheapskate OBAMA SHOULD BE ... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

Cheapskate OBAMA SHOULD BE WASHING DISHES LOTS AND LOTS OF DISHES




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