WASHINGTON (CNN) – During a long presidential run that featured countless campaign stops in eastern Pennsylvania, Barack Obama consumed his fair share of cheesesteaks.
And unlike former presidential candidate John Kerry, who once committed the cardinal sin of ordering the sandwich with Swiss cheese at Pat’s King of Steaks in Philadelphia, the president has apparently learned a truism of campaigning: a real cheesesteak is served not with Swiss, provolone or cheddar … but with whiz.
During a Monday press conference, Obama went out of his way to demonstrate this knowledge after meeting with small business owners from around the country, including Marco Lentini, who owns an organic restaurant in Philadelphia.
“I asked him, what was the equivalent at his shop of a cheese steak,” Obama said of the meeting. “And he described to me, what was it? A chicken ... ?”
Lentini interrupted, drawing laughter from the president and the press corps.
“A chicken Italiano,” he explained eagerly. “A chicken cutlet, spinach Florentine, sharp provolone, all on Italian ciabatta bread.”
“Right,” Obama said. “So, I wanted to know if there was whiz on that. And he said no.”
During the campaign, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said the future president could use a daily cheesesteak ration. "Perhaps the only thing I don't like about him is, he's too thin," he said.
Obama was quick to point out the perils of too much Pat’s. "A cheesesteak, once a day," he mused, "and I will have the pleasure of looking like Ed Rendell."