He came, he saw, he waved, he smiled. He shook outstretched hands. He took from outstretched hands. He talked about ordinary Americans getting a fair shake and a dirt-cheap hot dog at Costco.
And he stayed safely clear of Tacoma – again.
President Barack Obama swept into a posh Lake Washington neighborhood this week for his third or fourth fundraiser among Seattle-area elites this year.
As he nears the end of his term, the POTUS has made a reported six visits north of the Pierce County line, plus campaign stops up there in 2008.
Not once, however, has he ventured into the wilderness of the South Sound, where high society means people lobbying for marijuana dispensaries.
He hasn’t come to give a hearty “hoo-ahh” to local troops. Nor to inspect zombie preparedness efforts in the Tacoma Sector of the Cascadia Quarantine Zone. (See last week’s column.) Not even to accept monetary tributes from Tacoma-area elites – presuming he could find some.
Instead, Obama spent a few hours this week making withdrawals from the human cash machines at a fundraiser hosted by Jim Sinegal, co-founder of Costco.
The chief executive of the U.S.A. and the chief executive of Costco – it’s a close call who’s more powerful – held court under a tent outside Sinegal’s modest lakefront home. (At 70,000 square feet, the house has only about half the floor space of one of his stores.)
Gotta wonder if the hors d’oeuvres were distributed by those familiar meatball-and-toothpick-wielding ladies in hair nets.
Presidential seal of approval: Turns out the POTUS is a big fan of the Issaquah-based warehouse chain.
Before giving his stump speech, he praised Costco as “the story of what America is all about.”
Let’s see, special perks for executive club members … herds of freeloaders wandering aimlessly looking for handouts … security workers at the entrance and exit who either barely pay attention or suddenly demand to see your papers … soccer moms buying excessive quantities of things they rarely use ... a company buying an election for $20 million.
Jeepers, he’s right! Costco is the beating heart of America!
And really, what’s not to like about Costco? What other store takes care of you from cradle to grave – from a bulk bag of disposable diapers to a casket? Where else can you find industrial-size packs of Costcornflakes, Costcocoa and Costcondoms in the same shopping cart?
And the piece de resistance: In Washington you can now wind down with a bottle of Costcohol!
But the bargain item to which the leader of the free world has pledged his allegiance is the one whose price has not changed since Costco was born in 1985.
The $1.50 hot dog and soda combo.
Raise the price, and a mob with pitchforks might storm the gates.
Obama and Sinegal bantered about the value meal the other night. “You don’t mess with something if it ain’t broke,” the president said, urging the Costcommander-in-chief to hold firm at a buck fifty.
Finally, an economic plan that protects the middle class.
That’s a lot of wieners: By the time Obama’s motorcade whisked him away to the Bellevue Hilton, his re-election campaign had collected $35,800 from each of two dozen or so bigshots.
Which translates to roughly 23,866 hot dogs per head.
On second thought, they can have him: Maybe having Nobama in Tacoma isn’t such a raw deal after all. His entourage caused two separate traffic jams – Tuesday p.m. in Seattle, Wednesday a.m. in Bellevue.
And anyway, the 253 got visits this week from both the deputy secretary and the Region X director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
At Costco, this is what’s called a 2-for-1 special.
Face transplant: TNT pitbull reporter Sean Robinson really should thank the Washington Coalition for Open Government for the picture it ran in an online announcement for an Aug. 15 WCOG forum in which he will be a panelist.
Robinson is acquainted with the silver fox whose photo mistakenly appeared in his place.
Trust us, dude, you can only dream of looking so game-show-handsome when you’re 74.
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