Burgergate

With discussions of President Obama ordering Dijon mustard on his hamburger the other day continuing unabated, David Frum points out this practice is common in Texas and among Republican Congressmen.  Moreover, the restaurant credited with introducing the hamburger doesn’t allow ketchup! (Of course, they ban mustard, too.)

While I personally despite mustard, I tend not to draw judgments about a man based on how he likes his burgers.  Then again, I voted against John Kerry despite sharing his belief that Provolone is far superior on a cheesesteak than Cheez Whiz.

Oddly, the thing that most bothered me about the Obama-Biden trip to Ray’s Hell Burgers but that has gone unremarked elsewhere is the visit itself.  While it’s great that they waited in line just like everybody else, the required motorcade and Secret Service scrub created havok for miles around.  It’s one thing to do that for official state business and quite another to grab a burger and do a quick photo-op.

This isn’t either personal or partisan.  All presidents do it.   And I understand their desire to get outside their bubble every once in awhile.   The problem is that they bring their bubble with them and create a massive inconvenience for everybody that gets caught up in the wake.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Idiot says:

    That’s the only real issue. The rest is stupidity compounded.

  2. FranklinTest says:

    This reminds me of leaning out the window of my limo for prom and asking a bystander if he had any Grey Poupon. “But of course” was his reply.

    Now if only my prom date had played along with all my stupid games …

  3. markm says:

    That picture used in the post is ripe for a caption contest…chop chop Mr Dill.

  4. Drew says:

    I agree that it shows arrogance and disdain to visit the local diner, although many pols do it…….but my issue with the whole incident was media coverage, especially the nauseating MSNBC……

    Did anyone see Andrea Mitchell and Kelly O’Donnel slobbering all over the event??

    What’s next? The Presidential bowel movement??

    “Look at that Kelly, have you ever seen it done with more confidence and smoothness?”

    “No, Andrea, I must say that was masterful. What technique! Such a change we have in the White House. Smart, confident and efficient. Sure to bring confidence and hope to the American public.”

    “We can definately say that this movement was delivered without any of the usual American arrogance; sure to please even the French. Oh, look !! He’s using a bidet!! How sensitive.”

    “That’s right, Kelly, our standing in Europe is most assuredly better than yesterday………”

    “I’m so proud……….Andrea”

  5. JKB says:

    Okay, the dijon mustard issue is just stupid. Dijon can actually be quite good on a burger. Now if he’d asked for it on a hotdog or sausage that would be different.

    The real problem with the incident was Obama’s halting way of ordering. When you’re trying to show yourself as a man of the people, don’t act like the guy everyone would hates because he can’t order quickly and succinctly. He was in line so he should have been ready to order. That’s why the put the menu on a big board. Even Jon Stewart made fun of Obama for this!

    And anyway, on your first visit to a place known for their burgers, you don’t go having it your way until you’ve tried the house recipe.

  6. HiItsNino says:

    OH PLEASE! Do you know how many time John Boehner has outright cut me in line at the Starbucks in Capitol Hill? He pulls up with his huge SUV and secret service guys scramble to open his door and he just mosies his way in front of everyone and gets his coffee and leaves, just smiling and waving to everyone like we are just so damned privileged to be in his presence…

  7. TomH says:

    Drew- That was funny. Sadly, it could happen.

  8. Dustin says:

    The Daily Show parodied this whole event and the media coverage, but seemingly before the mustard bit caught fire. Even they didn’t find anything to run with on the mustard line, and they even played that line. Amazing what gets traction most days.

  9. Bithead says:

    Let’s not forget that MSNBC just happened to be there, to breathlessly report that The one and the Cracked pot were there because they were ‘just regular guys’….

    (snort)

    Shades of John (Served in Vietnam) Kerry. All that was missing was a coule people in uniform to shake hands with. One wonders if, like Kerry, their real lunches were waiting for them back in the Limo.

    If nothing else, this goes a long way to showing us Obama can’t seem to maintain his apporval ratings without being constantly in campaign mode.

  10. Amazing what gets traction most days.

    Lacking actual principles to talk about, the Republican party has nothing else to talk about other than pointless identity issues like what condiments people use.

  11. anjin-san says:

    Onr wonders if Drew was as upset that Hannity and the Fox gang had their lips vacuum welded to Bush’s ass all those years. Probably not…

  12. sam says:

    Guys, c’mon. Politics, especially in a democracy, is theater. Now just because we were mistreated to the opera buffa of the previous administration (and the jokes were on us), that is no reason to to go all John Simon on the current thespian in the White House. I think his script is better than the previous one (think Gone with the Wind starring the Marx Brothers), but I also know that with some of you this is a matter of controversy. All Washington’s a stage…and so forth.

  13. An Interested Party says:

    As mentioned on a variety of other topics involving the president…if this is the best that some people have to raise a fuss over, it’s going to be a long 4-8 years for them…

  14. Dantheman says:

    “Then again, I voted against John Kerry despite sharing his belief that Provolone is far superior on a cheesesteak than Cheez Whiz.”

    If Kerry had asked for provolone, no one would have raised an eyebrow. He asked for Swiss, a decidedly poor choice for a cheesesteak.

    “if this is the best that some people have to raise a fuss over, it’s going to be a long 4-8 years for them”

    And yet we have been treated to a non-stop diet of this for the last year, ever since Obama clinched the nomination (remember his bowling score?). Some folks never learn.

  15. An Interested Party says:

    And yet we have been treated to a non-stop diet of this for the last year, ever since Obama clinched the nomination (remember his bowling score?). Some folks never learn.

    Maybe Obama will learn to not put mustard on his hamburger and get a better bowling score after he is sworn in for a second term…

  16. odograph says:

    I am going to make the assumption that Mr. Obama, like me, has a nimble mind, and likes quite a few styles of hamburger. Some days it’s the Dijon, some days it’s the 1000 island, some days it’s the barbecue sauce, some days it’s the garlic aioli

  17. Bithead says:

    Onr wonders if Drew was as upset that Hannity and the Fox gang had their lips vacuum welded to Bush’s ass all those years

    Which, of course, is precisely why you’re unable to come up with a happening that is similar to the one under discussion here, here. Of course, you’re welcome to try.

  18. USpace says:

    .
    The Left is just keeping this ‘Mustard story’ alive, the Right had a chuckle and moved on. There are many much more important things to criticize this administration about. The Left doesn’t want people focusing on the big stuff, because that’s where it’s most dangerous to them. The Truth will bring them down, God willing.
    .
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    deify your dear leaders

    they are supernatural
    with magical qualities

    .
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    don’t protest tax increases

    or support states’ rights
    YOU RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST
    .

  19. Drew says:

    Pathetic response, anjin. Just pathetic.