On a rainy day in Washington, I met with President Obama in a small diner just several blocks from the White House. We met to discuss the challenges faced working with such a boisterous opposing party. When he arrived he quickly ordered the crepes and I just ordered coffee.
Mr. Obama showed an unusual amount of excitement for his upcoming crepes. He said, "To be honest, I was weary about being president and living in the White House, until I tried their crepes. And yes, I love working towards a better good for all, but honestly sometimes I think I'm just in it for the crepes!"
When the crepes arrived, Mr Obama took one bite, spit them out, threw down his fork and leaned in to whisper, "This is why I don't like to leave the White House for breakfast! Nobody knows how to do crepes!"
I tried steering the conversation back to the upcoming election and worries that may be surfacing. I asked, "How do you plan to distinguish your successes throughout your term as President?"
The President replied with, "We plan to use social media to-"
He stopped mid-sentence and began staring at his crepes. Upon them were sliced strawberries and what looked like a mint leaf off to the side. He leaned in to me for the second time and said, "Something is terribly wrong with these crepes. It is making me very angry. I just want to shout at the waitress, you know call her names. But what's the point? She didn't make the crepes. She didn't make them."
I took this opportunity to flag the waitress for more coffee. Upon the refill, I saw a look in the President's eye as he stared down the waitress like a falcon fixated on a field mouse. The waitress, Pamela, unknowingly asked, "How are the crepes, Mr. President?"
Obama, a man we have come to know as a figure of equality, change, and an embodiment of the ideals of something better replied with, "Good." He patiently waited for her to refill my coffee and politely listened to her sharing some history of the diner. When she finally walked away, the President exhaled as if he had been holding his breath the entire time Pamela was at our table. What came next reminded me of that scene in Liar Liar when Jim Carey's character confesses to all of his speeding tickets in one breath:
Obama rattles, "If you're going to do crepes, add brown sugar or use confectionary, don't use just plain sugar and what is the deal with this leaf? What am I suppose to think of this? A man goes to bed and dreams, he dreams about what? Breakfast because men are hungry, men are driven, men wants crepes. I want crepes! I'll be president because if anyone knows how to do crepes, it's the White House, right? But here I am with you, suffering through what this diner claims to be crepes. I should just throw them on the floor and spill my water and leave! I won't even pay!"
At this point the President's guards intervened. They whispered in his ear and he politely stood up, fixed his tie and shook my hand. "It was a pleasure meeting with you," he said, "Perhaps we can do it again sometime."