March 16th, 2009
04:02 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama shows off his cheesesteak knowledge

President Obama talked whiz with Marco Lentini, right.
President Obama talked whiz with Marco Lentini, right.

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."


Filed under: Ed Rendell • President Obama
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Crush

    I absolutely LOVE President Obama.

    March 16, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Jackie in Dallas

    No, President Obama...please keep your athletic self svelte and toned! Heaven knows we need a President that can inspire our youth to get off their behinds and get some exercise, eat right, and avoid such things as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure!

    Things like cheesesteak or cheesecake should be eaten in moderation as a special treat!

    March 16, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Griff............... on The Truth...

    Smell's a little, to me. He want's the Cream for doing nothing. But! Having "Black Skin"... "Black- Cream"?????

    March 16, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. fred

    OK CNN........what the heck???? Are you serious???? I don't even know what to say to this.

    CNN, do you know if those cheesesteaks were republicans or democrats? Were those cheesesteaks having a debate?? Seriously, I'm sure this article has something to do with politics......I'm just not sure what.

    March 16, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Brian Crooks

    And they say President Obama is a hoity-toity elitist that can't relate to regular people. HA!

    March 16, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. TerryT

    I wish he knew as much about business and the economy as he does about attacking his political opponents and cheesecakes.

    March 16, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Jon

    This is not newsworthy!

    March 16, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Mari

    Obama is wonderful! His sense of humor is refreshing.

    God bless you & guide you Mr. President!

    March 16, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. april

    What would really be impressive would be if Obama could figure out if a newly unemployed family on food stamps, could ever afford to split one of those cheesesteaks, how about the peole living in the tent cities?

    March 16, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. jaye

    That was too cute!!
    I love our President!!!

    March 16, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. Naked Awareness

    I am not sure if displaying one's knowledge of whiz is actually a good thing.

    March 16, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Majik

    Maybe he should show as much interest in solving the economy issues.

    March 16, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. wooot

    I'm glad he at least knows one thing.

    March 16, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Deb

    I love our new President. He just gets it!

    March 16, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. All the news ths is fit to omit

    This is news, but his now saying EXACTLY what John McCain said about the FUNDAMENTALS of the economy being strong and the chosen one scoffed at him?

    How about him now NOT taking off the table (again the McCain idea) of taxing Health care for individuals at a certain rate, again the chosen one scoffed at it NOT LONG ago, but not "everything is on the table".

    Keep with the fluff pieces as that is all he empty media and even emptier President is good at.

    Tommorow Bristol Palin's baby grows a tooth and bites Sarah Palin, story one, page one.

    Uh, uh, uh, uh, the fundamentals of the economy are uh, uh, uh strong so what if uh, uh, uh McCain said the same thing and GOT HAMMERED, this is the chosen one.

    I'll save you apologists the trouble, I hate Rush and hated Bush more, so I must just be a uh, uh hater................

    March 16, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. buckeye

    Barack Obama has proven that you don't have to be overweight and unhealthy to get elected in a nation that is overweight and unhealthy.

    March 16, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. TCM

    That's about the extent of Obama's expertise; a Sandwich Artist...

    It's amazing how libs voted in a guy that's so unqualified, that if he were to work at Subway, he'd have to work his way up to management....absolutely no experience...AND IT SHOWS!!

    March 16, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Kurt C.

    That's about the only thing he has knowledge of. Milk it for all it's worth, Obama.

    March 16, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. Beverly, NYC

    Griff............... on The Truth... March 16th, 2009 4:08 pm E:

    What the hell are you trying to say. Please take your meds before typing.

    March 16, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Paul

    Holy crap, people. Let the guy blow off some steam. ZOMG, HE'S JOKING ABOUT A SANDWICH WHILE PEOPLE ARE OUT OF WORK!!!! Get a grip.

    March 16, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Watchful Cowboy

    A self proclaimed expert on everything! Wonder if he knows how to eat a tamale correctly? Does he like hot salsa or mild? And just who cares?

    March 16, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Anita

    B O R I N G.........................

    I thought this was a news network not the FOOD network.

    March 16, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. geecee

    President Obama spoke today to small businessman to give them a pep talk about helping them succeed in these hard economic times. This was just some side talk that was slightly amusing and it was reported on by CNN. Why are you all so cynical? Can't he even laugh a little and joke with the people he is speaking to in order to take our minds off the horrible economy just for even a moment? Is that so bad that news networks can't even report a bit of comical banter between the President and an American citizen that you have to slam him for it?

    March 16, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Fitz in Texas

    Yep, CNN and the liberal media sure is in bed with Obama while Rome burns.

    UNBELIEVABLE with everything going on in the world CNN feels a need to report something as stupid as this.

    March 16, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Eileen

    People...lighten up for Pete's sake. Yes, the economy is in bad shape, yes, people are out of work.

    Guess what, we aren't the only ones and if you want to walk around without allowing some levity into your life you may as well go buy the "big box" cause that's where your stress is taking you.

    March 16, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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