In Chicago this morning, President Obama made sure to let everyone know that he'll was paying for his breakfast with Illinois governor Pat Quinn. "I don't take free food," Obama said at the food counter.
Via the White House pool report:
President Obama and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn arrived at Valois Restaurant for a hearty breakfast. Valois is clearly an Obama mainstay: A glass cabinet was filled with Valois coffee mugs adorned with Obama’s face, and assorted Obama clippings and photos hung on a wall.
A separate menu board featured “President Obama’s favorites,” including “N.Y. steak and eggs;” two eggs with bacon or sausage; two pancakes; steak omelet; Mediterranean omelet; and an “all-vegi” egg white omelet. Obama appeared to stray a bit from his favorites, ordering two eggs over medium with bacon and hash browns.
Obama ordered at the counter of this casual restaurant and greeted the cooks as he waited for his food, which came out on a plastic tray. The dining area was about half full, and everyone appeared appropriately shocked that the president had strolled in for breakfast.
At the counter, Obama plopped down two twenty-dollar bills and said, “I don’t take free food.” The president and the governor set their trays down on an empty table and spent a few minutes chatting with customers. Obama greeted folks with a “how are you doing?” or a “good to see you” and posed for a few pictures. His food remained untouched as he took photos and talked with a few more people, largely out of earshot of the pool.
Finally, Obama joked that the customers were working him too hard and said that he was going to eat his breakfast with Quinn. The pool was ushered out as they sat down to eat.
Obama spent about half an hour at the restaurant, and by the time he departed, an enthusiastic crowd had assembled outside. The motorcade departed Valois at 9:44 a.m.