In Which the President Orders a Reporter to Buy Some Ribs
January 22, 2004 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Remarks by the President to a Press Pool. THE PRESIDENT: I'm ordering ribs. David, do you need a rib? Q: But Mr. President -- THE PRESIDENT: Stretch, thank you, this is not a press conference. So instead of asking questions, answer mine: Are you going to buy some food?
posted by tweebiscuit (58 comments total)

 
Now that he's talking about it, I could really use some ribs. Maybe a baked potato...
posted by Derek at 2:37 PM on January 22, 2004


Give the man his Ribs already. Though I am confused - is Dubya ordering or serving said Ribs? Either way, he sure seems anxious to get some Ribs.
posted by kokogiak at 2:38 PM on January 22, 2004


F$%k the cup, pour it in my hand for a dime.
posted by machaus at 2:38 PM on January 22, 2004


That's almost elegant in it's surrealism. I kept checking the url to make sure it was really the white house site...
posted by dejah420 at 2:43 PM on January 22, 2004


I just don't particularly understand why they issued it as a press release, considering that not much is said except for "Stop asking me questions -- I'm trying to order ribs."
posted by tweebiscuit at 2:45 PM on January 22, 2004


it's like a SNL sketch...unbelievable (cheeseburger, cheeseburger, pepsi, chips!)
posted by amberglow at 2:46 PM on January 22, 2004


That makes as little sense as anything I've ever seen.
posted by jon_kill at 2:47 PM on January 22, 2004


THE PRESIDENT: See, his job is to ask questions, he thinks my job is to answer every question he asks.

Hilarious stuff--it's almost too easy to make the press look dumb.
posted by profwhat at 2:49 PM on January 22, 2004


Someone needs to tell the president that there are better ways to stimulate the economy than trying to increase monetary velocity.

And, that if that's what he's trying to do with the tax cuts, that he's giving the tax cuts to the wrong people. Give $20billion to the poor and they'll spend it on things like food, clothing, shelter. Give it to the rich and they'll stick it in a bank.

On preview: profwhat - I don't think it's the press looking dumb.
posted by bshort at 2:53 PM on January 22, 2004


"let me explain how the economy works..."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
posted by quonsar at 2:57 PM on January 22, 2004


Indeed, profwhat. Why the hell do these arrogant press types expect the president to answer questions on anything except ribs?
posted by TBoneMcCool at 2:57 PM on January 22, 2004


I don't think it's the press looking dumb.

Didn't you get the memo on this? From 9-11-01 on, it was considered illegal, immoral and unpatriotic to insinuate that the President is, or in some way resembles dumb.
posted by psmealey at 3:01 PM on January 22, 2004


What an arrogant prick. He invites the press corps along and then treats them like children. He clearly just doesn't want to answer questions in an unscripted situation.
posted by jmgorman at 3:30 PM on January 22, 2004


Roswell, New Mexico, eh?
posted by NorthernLite at 3:40 PM on January 22, 2004


CNN says that he was charged too little for the food, and then didn't leave a tip.
posted by waxpancake at 3:40 PM on January 22, 2004


CNN says that he was charged too little for the food, and then didn't leave a tip.

Do you tip on carry-out orders? If I'm paying cash, I never tip; if I'm using my credit card, though, I'll sometimes be guilted out of an extra dollar by that little "tip" line on the receipt/signature slip.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:52 PM on January 22, 2004


Aw, c'mon, give the guy a break. I mean I hate him too.
But I hate him as president. I mean, if he were just a local rancher, or a minor league ball club owner I could probably see him as just a nice enough guy, maybe with some funny ideas but okay to share a mess of ribs and a few laughs with as long as he kep religion out of it.
posted by donfactor at 4:01 PM on January 22, 2004


donfactor, the problem is that he's not a local rancher, he's not a minor league ball club owner, he's the President of the USA. He gave away all his breaks when he took office.

And yes, Mr Roboto, you should tip on take out orders. The food still has to be prepared, packed and given to you. Tip less but still tip. Never worked in the food service industry, have you?
posted by fenriq at 4:15 PM on January 22, 2004


CNN says that he was charged too little for the food, and then didn't leave a tip.

And you just happened to leave this out:

"Bush did not leave tip for the to-go order, but Zabala said one was not expected."
posted by gyc at 4:22 PM on January 22, 2004


And yes, Mr Roboto, you should tip on take out orders. The food still has to be prepared, packed and given to you. Tip less but still tip. Never worked in the food service industry, have you?

Well, yeah, I have (never got any tips, though). Do you tip at fast food places, too? How about buffet or cafeteria-style places? I always though tipping was primarily for table service.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:29 PM on January 22, 2004


Why the hell are we talking about this?
posted by elwoodwiles at 4:34 PM on January 22, 2004


waxpancake: "CNN says that he was charged too little for the food"
CNN: "Zabala said the bill should have been $42.95 but he charged the president less because he was "caught up in the moment." I'm sure you calculate how much you show pay every time you buy food...

waxpancake: ", and then didn't leave a tip."
CNN: "Bush did not leave tip for the to-go order, but Zabala said one was not expected." You tip your local rib joint? Bullshit. "The hearless captialist swine didn't tip where tips are not expected. Fascist!"

Shit, the guy's obviously not Washington, but sheesh. At least he didn't go into a rib joint and order filet mignon for $2, which Daddy might have. I'd just wish I he was buying a round instead of having his finger on the button. You folks think the pres not answering the press / joking with them is a new thing? If you think this is a good method of attacking Bush, then you're part of the problem that'll get this guy re-elected. (What about the obvious disdain for Mad Cow? Oh my goodness!)
posted by superchris at 4:39 PM on January 22, 2004


Actually, I think the President comes out looking pretty good in this one. Sure, the economy exchange was facile, but he clearly meant it to be. He was ducking the questions with an unusual amount of grace, and wit.

Contrast, our new PM hopeful up here in the great white North, who, when asked a question she didn't like at her coming out party, tersely said 'Next Question' until the journalist gave up.

As for the tipping thing - not required on take out orders, and yes, I have worked in food service. In my experience, restaurants code take-out on a different staff key so that the totals don't get included in the tip-out. From an etiquette perspective, tips are required for personal services. Waiting on your table, bringing you water, making recommendations from the menu are personal services. Handing over your take-out and making change are purely business transactions.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:48 PM on January 22, 2004


I think the press ended up with the funniest lines of the exchange:

THE PRESIDENT: See, his job is to ask questions, he thinks my job is to answer every question he asks. I'm here to help this restaurant by buying some food. Terry, would you like something?

Q An answer.

Q Can we buy some questions?

Funny stuff.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:49 PM on January 22, 2004


Jeebus...will you give the guy just a tiny little break? He's trying to get some food. He is the President, and of course he has obligations to the citizenry -- but NOT 24/7. The reporters get plenty of opportunities to talk to him, ask him questions, interview him, analyze him, etc.

Cripes...a man's gotta eat, ya know.
posted by davidmsc at 5:08 PM on January 22, 2004


This exchange is on the Whitehouse site as a (staged) demonstration of what a regular guy good old Dubya is. Kinda guy you'd like a share a beer with; kinda guy you'd defeat your economic self-interest to vote for. Get it?
posted by squirrel at 5:18 PM on January 22, 2004


That was good one he really nailed the dumb journalist (that could have answered "Yes sure Mr. President I help workers three times a day with breakfast, lunch and dinner but hey please don't tell my wife I eat donughts too!")

Oh by the way Prez you can ask some company to buy some millions steaks at well, they can afford it and it would help the economy as well !
posted by elpapacito at 5:34 PM on January 22, 2004


Sure, the economy exchange was facile, but he clearly meant it to be.

no, facile it wasn't. perhaps you meant facetious.
posted by quonsar at 6:03 PM on January 22, 2004


"Kinda guy you'd like a share a beer with; kinda guy you'd defeat your economic self-interest to vote for. Get it?"

1st part. Got it. Remarked on it.
2nd part. Huh?

I think we all realize that it's a photo-op to make him look more 'normal', more likeable. Who doesn't? I'm reminded of a article about the Iowa caucuses where an Iowan asked why all the dems felt the need to get their pictures taken with cows and corn. All politicians do it. It's the way politics have always been done. (kissing babies, Arsenio, Checkers?) To demonize Bush for it makes his opponents look silly.

I just can't stand when people belittle the opposition to Bush by going so overboard against anything he does. "He didn't leave a tip." It makes opposing Bush look trivial, which my opposition is far from. When people say "BUSH IS HITLER", then people actually see, well, that he's not Hitler, then they begin to doubt all opposition to the man. In that way the extremists help him to gain the undecideds. There's 8 billion ways to oppose him on terms than everyone can understand. Opposing him for bullshit only helps him. Similarly, I would bet that Indymedia has created more Repubs than Dems/Greens/LaRouchies combined. /rant
posted by superchris at 6:04 PM on January 22, 2004


When people say "BUSH IS HITLER", then people actually see, well, that he's not Hitler...

Of course Bush isn't Hitler: Bush is a fiscal liberal and a social conservative. He's much closer to Stalin.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:08 PM on January 22, 2004


Jeebus...will you give the guy just a tiny little break?

he was born bleeding money out his asshole, he has no idea about the value of money, it is nothing short of arrogant, crude, self-centered and a slap in the face of the very people he claimed to be helping. he could have whipped out his roll and peeled off a couple of hundreds and said "that'll cover the food and all the extra fuss we caused, maam" and scripted or no, been a goddam hero, but shit like that doesn't occur to king doofus. he's clueless. why would anybody cut him a break?
posted by quonsar at 6:13 PM on January 22, 2004


my favourite part was Bush explaining how the economy works.

Like Ari Flischer on quantum physics.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 6:13 PM on January 22, 2004


"Jeebus...will you give the guy just a tiny little break?"

"he was born bleeding money out his asshole,"

Can't you even have sympathy for his bleeding asshole?
posted by superchris at 6:25 PM on January 22, 2004


he could have whipped out his roll and peeled off a couple of hundreds and said "that'll cover the food and all the extra fuss we caused, maam"

Then you'd call him a blue-blooded arrogant ass who thinks he can just trow money around to make the little people happy.
posted by Mick at 7:13 PM on January 22, 2004


kinda guy you'd defeat your economic self-interest to vote for.

Superchris, that's a reference to many of the ignorant poor who vote for Bush because he's "a man of prayer" or other such garbage regardless of the fact that his policies favor the rich and powerful. Pay not attention to his policies, enjoy his glib fratboy humanity. Get it?
posted by squirrel at 7:17 PM on January 22, 2004


I think the CNN article reads like an Onion article. In any event, why do a press release that says absolutely nothing?
posted by moonbiter at 7:43 PM on January 22, 2004


for the pictures, moonbiter--the pres with the "common man"
posted by amberglow at 7:49 PM on January 22, 2004


Then you'd call him a blue-blooded arrogant ass who thinks he can just trow money around to make the little people happy.

I'd call him someone who knows "how the economy grows. You've got plenty of money in your pocket, and when you spend it, it drives the economy forward...makes it more likely somebody is going to find work." Of course when you spend less and don't tip, it doesn't help quite as much. "Do as I say, not as I do."
posted by azimuth at 7:56 PM on January 22, 2004


Look, guys. I don't like Bush, but I've lived in the DC area all my life and I've never seen anyone tip for a carryout order. Maybe in other regions or countries it's different, but not here. Tips are for waitservice or delivery. He paid the bill he was given, which is what he's supposed to do. C'mon guys. There are a lot of real things you can criticize Bush over, but this ain't one of them.
posted by unreason at 8:13 PM on January 22, 2004


that's not very unreasonable.
posted by quonsar at 8:20 PM on January 22, 2004


unreason - don't we expect better of our president ?
posted by troutfishing at 8:38 PM on January 22, 2004


After all, the guy's personal fortune is derived from his grandfather's which came from, essentially, Nazi slave labor.

GW's immediate personal fortune came mostly from a heartfelt donation of Texas Rangers stock, while he was governor of Texas.

Now he is rich. He could leave a thousand dollar tip and not break even the slightest sweat. This would, however, emphasize his financial difference from the common man.

And, if he were to tip excessively, this would also violate the ethos of his class which says : keep a low profile.
posted by troutfishing at 8:54 PM on January 22, 2004


maybe he was just excited about the fact he had just mastered the concept of the tickledown effect from his econ101 textbook.
posted by wannabehippie at 9:21 PM on January 22, 2004


"The president has to have time to eat, sleep and be merry, or he'll make angry, grumpy decisions."

Quick, give him some ribs before we invade another country! (Maybe Dean was just hungry?)
posted by homunculus at 9:21 PM on January 22, 2004


My asshole bleeds from his tiny little break.
posted by cookie-k at 9:21 PM on January 22, 2004


Moonbiter -- That's my question exactly. I didn't link to this because it says anything about Bush in particular, but because the fact that this was recorded as a press conference is uniquely bizarre.
posted by tweebiscuit at 9:23 PM on January 22, 2004


tweebiscuits - thanks for linking to this uniquely bizarre press conference, a wierd and 1/2.
posted by troutfishing at 9:28 PM on January 22, 2004


You bush-hating liberals crack me up. I didn't like Clinton one bit but I can at least admit he seemed like a smart guy who would probably be pretty fun to hang out with. I feel the same way about Bush. You guys need to calm down with the "STOP THE PRESSES HE DIDN'T TIP ON CARRYOUT!!!!!"

Superchris has it right
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 9:57 PM on January 22, 2004


Backwards, don't be daft. Clinton was a smart guy, but he was probably not all that fun to "hang out with". And Bush jr. is probably a blast to party with, but he's not that bright, at least not compared to past presidents. Or most of the students I teach. Or my cat.
posted by hank_14 at 10:05 PM on January 22, 2004


Zing, hank_14! This odd little thread seems to have really brought the seldom-posters out of the woodwork. I like to see that. Pass the ribs.
posted by squirrel at 10:35 PM on January 22, 2004


Let it be known that I never intended to stir up a political brou-ha-ha.
posted by tweebiscuit at 10:57 PM on January 22, 2004


One thing I wonder whenever I see this kind of "President as normal guy" kind of story: Does the President of the United States carry cash? Why would he need it, normally? Would he have to get a staffer to run down to the bank to cash a check for him or something so he'd have it?

On preview: It's three in the morning and now I want some barbecue.
posted by alumshubby at 11:56 PM on January 22, 2004


After all, the guy's personal fortune is derived from his grandfather's which came from, essentially, Nazi slave labor.

Troutfishing manages to completely top the surreal nature of the article with the surreal nature of this statement.

I think everybody should try to use this sentence in a conversation tomorrow, OK? Report back.
posted by namespan at 11:58 PM on January 22, 2004


To the "give it up, already" crowd: any comments on the fact that this is posted on the White House website?

/Bush-bashing thread? I'd say it's a WTF thread.

-----------

namespan: I try to use "He tried to kill mah dad" on a daily basis. Gotta repport it works wonders: people crack up and I get what I want.

posted by magullo at 4:53 AM on January 23, 2004


The reporters get plenty of opportunities to talk to him, ask him questions, interview him, analyze him, etc.

Yeah, like ten whole press conferences in three years. [smirk]
And those were scripted to death.
Get real, the SCLM readily admits that this is the least press friendly White House ever and yet they continue to slobber all over aWol's $2,000 shoes.
posted by nofundy at 5:09 AM on January 23, 2004


Colour me a confused Canuck: This was a staged photo-op of Bush purchasing some take-out ribs, and he's being raked over the coals for not turning it into a full-on press conference?

The American media is just weird.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:48 AM on January 23, 2004


fff--

This is a little like having an official government press release of, oh, I dunno, Chretien buying a dozen donuts at Tim Hortons while making fun of Peter Mansbridge for having a cup of coffee.

You'd expect to see it on Air Farce, not The National. Likewise, we Americans would expect to see this as a sketch on Saturday Night Live, not CNN. I don't know which is funnier/sadder: that this happened, that there was a press release and news coverage of it, or that this thread has generated so much traffic.
posted by ilsa at 11:27 AM on January 23, 2004


I'm Gonna Get You Sucka meets SNL. Bush's "one rib" was "intercepted by warlords".
posted by euphorb at 12:18 PM on January 23, 2004


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