President Obama took a number of White House aides to lunch Wednesday to thank them for all the long nights as well as missed vacations, family dinners, you name it, required to achieve a debt-ceiling deal that pleases absolutely no one.
No, the trip to the Capitol Hill burger place called Good Stuff, wasn't as useful in the long run as, say, a pay raise. But who tells their grandkids that they got a pay raise? Lunch with the president makes for far better stories.
Obama paid for the White House employees and a woman on line who serendipitously decided to have lunch at that moment.
Walking to the second-floor seating area past some other customers, Obama said:
"It smells good. Michelle eats here all the time, but I don't get out."
Mark Landler of the New York Times, the print reporter in the White House press pool accompanying the president to the restaurant, reported that the president and his aides sat at a long table as they waited for their food with much laughter.
The president chatted with a family seated at the next table, offering a boy, Andrew Parker, 11, a choice of several milk shakes sitting on his table.
" 'Choose any milkshake,' " the president said, according to the boy. " 'I guarantee this table isn't going to drink them all. ' "
Maddy Parker, 13, said she was thrilled because two of her friends had once sat next to POTUS at a basketball game.
"Now it's even Steven," she said.
For those who care about such things, journalists saw the president with a burger, fries and salad in front of him.