March 16th, 2009
04:02 PM ET
3 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. Hey BIG Spender

    Hey BIG media- Thanks for the cute story but how about back to the REAL NEWS???? We know you are IN LOVE but when does the HONEYMOON end and the real NEWS coverage begin??

    March 16, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. walleye

    That was cheesey, but Obama is the man.

    March 16, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Griff............... on The Truth...

    Many a tear as to fall, but it's all in the game.. AIG! All in a game.
    But Borack Obama's Flit around an indoor-Pin-Ball. Lost in the Gutter. Must be the, Best Miss-Direction for America....

    March 16, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Mari

    @ "Griff.... on The Truth"............... its more like "Griff the hater."

    You sound a bit........ racist.

    March 16, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. Hey BIG Spender

    Hey BIG media- Thanks for the cute story but how about back to the REAL NEWS??? We know you are IN LOVE but when does the HONEYMOON end and the real NEWS coverage begin??

    March 16, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  6. Griff............... on The Truth...

    Didn't like that Griff! Why don't you praise this Idiot obama.

    March 16, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. Stu in Las Vegas

    Nothing dumber than republican without a clue or a sense of humor

    March 16, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Ellie

    I LOVE President Obama's sense of humor! The mere fact that our President has his hands on the "pulse" of America is truly refreshing!

    Let all the HATERS find something to complain about yet AGAIN!!!
    They have no sense of humor, I guess that's to be expected coming from a bunch of miserable folks.

    Lighten up people!!

    March 16, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. arithmetic is liberal

    Gotta love the new Republican talking point meme about the teleprompter.

    As if Obama is the first person EVAR to use one...
    You exicted that you have a new four syllable word to practice spelling, Republicans?

    I like that my president is smart enough to read a teleprompter and doesn't have to have a box stuffed under his jacket to feed him the State of the Union like ol' Bushie Boy did in 2003.

    March 16, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. Linda in MS

    I love this guy. Being a native-born New Orleanian, I can appreciate any one who loves good food. I would love to take him out to eat in N.O., get him a crispy fried soft-shell crab po-boy, or some crawfish etoufee, a fine gumbo ya-ya from Mr. B's on Royal St., anything from Dookie Chase. Please, Mr. Obama, come eat in New Orleans!

    March 16, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Independent

    And this is news?

    March 16, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. kevin

    hello what??????????????? hello? were in a deep financial straits and this clown prince of an idiot chooses to talk cheese steak. that it needs whiz cheese on it? What a clown, what a jerk. CNN, please group up

    March 16, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. WhoCares?

    Good Lord.

    Do these Republicans posting in here smack their children when they laugh and have some fun?

    Maybe he was dead-on with the "Bitterness and Guns" comment after all.

    March 16, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Linda B

    This is so not news. I long for the day that news-ertainment dies and we can get back to actual investigative reporting.

    I want everyone, and especially CNN, to stop hiring commentators and hire newscasters. Report, don't comment.

    March 16, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. meh

    Griff> Are you on crack? No really. I don't understand your posts!

    Also, people need to chill out! Oh no! The president has a sense of humor!

    TCM> How are *you* qualified to determine who is qualified? Also, do you plan on whining for 8 years?

    March 16, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. WhoCares?

    "Now a black is an expert on Phillie's! Give me a freakin' break and give him some turnips greens and fatback!"

    There you go...That's the true Republican shining through. They can only keep it bottled up for awhile before it has to blow.

    March 16, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. lee,sarasota

    For those of you complaining about the article concerning Megan McCain, I bet you are eating up the Obama cheesesteak. That is real newsworthy. The love affair by some of the Obamaites is ad nauseaum. They should put plain paper above each magazine that has the Obamas on the cover so that we can take our groceries home and eat in peace without retching.

    March 16, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. kevin

    David March 16th, 2009 4:44 pm ET

    :This guy has done more in 50 days than President Bush did in 8 years. I am amazed at everything he has done in such a short amount of time. I think that it is great that he can maintain his humor in these stressful times and do all the things he has done." Done what david? what the hell are you talking about. He doesn't even have all his advisors yet. What planet are you on? this is disgusting, this man has done nothing. His teleprompter has done more than he has

    March 16, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. strong

    We are heading into a depression or are already in one .... and here we're talking about cheesesteaks. Just more news for the sheeple.

    March 16, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. kevin

    wait wait in all seriousness, this is not funny. this is not funny at all. he is not funny. you people say that he is wonderful and funny and etc, for real, are you all beaded eyes like saps? Little geeks. No no for real, i challenge all those who think this is really really funny to once again read the article. There's truly nothing funny about it. I would really recommend to you who think its so funny, that you quickly get a sound mental checkup

    March 16, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The President spent enough time in Pennsylavnia campaigning to know every type of cheesesteak there is. But he gets an A + since he knows whiz goes on a real Philly Cheesesteak.

    March 16, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    I love Barack Obama!

    March 16, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. legal

    Typical left wing love fest. No matter what this guys says or does it is the greatest.

    You folks need to get out more if all you can do is idol worship.

    March 16, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. kevin

    “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.”

    this this part here. what you think this is funny???? this sounds like your president is asking did someone go to the bathroom on a slice of bread. I mean thats thats really funny people ? good god, america is in much much worse shape than i thought it was if you people think that a president asking such things is funny

    March 16, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. WhoCares?

    Kevin,

    How are you enjoying your "Bitterness Cheesesteak?"

    March 16, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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