Patterico's Pontifications


The King’s President’s Taster

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

When Obama had lunch with Republican Senators, he didn’t have lunch. You see, his taster wasn’t there.

Following President Obama’s lunch meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins described the food served and said the president was not able to eat since his “taster” was not present.

. . . .

“He looked longingly at it,” Collins continued. “He honestly did look longingly at it, but apparently he has to have essentially a taster, and I pointed out to him that we were all tasters for him, that if the food had been poisoned all of us would have keeled over so, but he did look longingly at it and he remarked that we have far better food than the Democrats do, and I said that was because I was hosting.”

It doesn’t really matter if a few Republicans die, but if the King dies, that’s very different.


  1. This is from the Onion, right?

    Comment by AZ Bob (c11d35) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:05 am

  2. He actually has a taster and he won’t eat till he gets the go-ahead? I thought the story was an attempt to mock Teh Emperor’s haughtiness, but he must think he needs the protection.

    Somehow, that makes me feel more secure.

    Comment by ropelight (d850a8) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:06 am

  3. Yes, Patterico, please tell me this is an Onion story.

    Comment by nk (53646e) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:13 am

  4. I hadn’t heard of Presidential tasters, but I doubt – if the story is indeed real – they were hired just for Obama… which is why I doubt the story is real, can you imagine the MSM not giving Bush grief?

    Comment by steve (369bc6) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:16 am

  5. So… what was that again about him not being a dictator?

    Comment by Another Anon (f43943) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:19 am

  6. According to, presidents have had tasters since George HW Bush at the latest … meaning that it’s really somewhat unfair to hold this against Obama.

    > What seems clear is that when the president eats somewhere other than 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., tasters — in the form of Secret Service agents or military personnel — are likely to be involved. According to a Washington Post article from July 1990, George H.W. Bush ate out at Washington restaurants a lot by presidential standards, about once a month, and when he did he brought along his own condiments, bottled water, and a taster. On at least one occasion the taster was seen to personally wash all of George and Barbara’s tableware before use and subsequently monitor its whereabouts, sample the food, supervise its service, and uncork and taste the first couple’s wine.

    Comment by aphrael (4fdd37) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:32 am

  7. I thought that food tasters were only needed by evil tyrants hated by so many people that he can’t even trust his own staff.

    Comment by scrubjay (a32db0) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:35 am

  8. The story makes no sense. This isn’t the middle ages, there have to be better ways to tell if food is poisoned than a food taster. What if the poison is slow acting? Is the president going to wait a couple of hours or days to see if the taster gets sick before he eats?

    Comment by Roscoe (15d927) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:37 am

  9. See also this report about President Reagan’s taster, from a 1988 Cox News Service article:,6378931

    Comment by aphrael (4fdd37) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:37 am

  10. Bubba hit the burger joints and Obama’s been taped for TV in all sorts of ice cream parlors and pizza palaces. Heck, he even got called out for stiffing a few of ‘em, and not once has a taster ever been mentioned let alone be seen holding the chow hounds in check till the vittles had been verified.

    Comment by ropelight (d850a8) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:43 am

  11. Yeah, I smell something off about this story.

    Comment by Simon Jester (c8876d) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:44 am

  12. Religious reasons.

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (951136) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:45 am

  13. See also this report about President Reagan’s taster, from a 1988 Cox News Service article:

    That’s good to know since I’d otherwise think the article about Obama was either satire or that it reflected a nation increasingly taking on the trappings of a corrupt Third-Worldish or Banana Republic-ish society. Barry Obama already has pushed us in that direction in a variety of ways, but in this one instance, he can’t be blamed for the whims of the Secret Service.

    However, it does seem Banana Republic-ish that the security staff was so out of the loop, they weren’t able to sync their duties with the schedule of the president dining with Congressional leaders. But I do picture Obama not being able to enjoy lunch with the other adults as being similar to the child relegated to the kids’ table—and the image is somehow quite appropriate.

    Comment by Mark (6ae95d) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:52 am

  14. > that it reflected a nation increasingly taking on the trappings of a corrupt Third-Worldish or Banana Republic-ish society

    I can see that, but it seems to have been going on – on at least some scale – for decades.

    Comment by aphrael (a57543) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:53 am

  15. Bubba hit the burger joints

    Speaking of which, I remember reading about how lower-level staffers at the White House (ie, housekeepers, etc) grumbled about the Clinton administration apparently being full of inconsiderate slobs, who caused the workload of such staffers to be greater than during the years of George Bush Sr. Knowing the attitude of self-entitlement and immaturity — the two-faced nature of “latte liberalism” — that pervades the modern-day left, I shouldn’t be surprised.

    Comment by Mark (6ae95d) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:59 am

  16. I can see that, but it seems to have been going on – on at least some scale – for decades.

    But as ropelight notes, Obama has schmoozed in public by eating food at places where the proletariat hangs out. So in one way the miscue at the lunch with Senate Republicans does have a tin-horn-dictator-ish, Banana-Republic-ish quality about it. In another way, so does this…, February 2013: “Didn’t know the Marines had to take the bolts out of their rifles for the Inaugural,” an email forwarded to Gun Rights Examiner from a United States Marine Corps source observed. “Wonder if someone can explain why [they] would be marching in the inaugural parade with no bolts in their rifles!”

    The email linked to a YouTube video of the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade, embedded in this column, featuring Bravo Company Marines from the Marine Barracks Washington. Sure enough, the observation in the email is confirmed by watching the video, with screen shots provided in the photo and slide show accompanying this article.

    This prompted an internet search to see if others had also noticed, and the Blur-Brain blog had.

    “The bolts have been removed from the rifles rendering them unable to fire a round,” the post stated. “Apparently Obama’s Secret Service doesn’t trust the USMC. Simply searching each guy to make sure he didn’t have a live round hidden on him wasn’t enough, they had to make sure the guns were inoperable.

    Wondering if this may be an inauguration policy of long standing that transcends administrations, Gun Rights Examiner made a cursory search and found something even more curious. In the 2009 Inaugural Parade, the United States Navy marched with rifles that had not been so disabled .

    ^ But with the US military and its political-correctness run amok (or liberalism run amok) leading to things like Nidal Hasan and the Fort Hood massacre, maybe it’s quite sensible if the Secret Service has grown increasingly paranoid. And quite ironic in this era of (supposed) greater do-gooder-ism and Hope and Change.

    Comment by Mark (6ae95d) — 3/15/2013 @ 9:14 am

  17. @4 — “I hadn’t heard of Presidential tasters, …”

    Bet you hadn’t heard of White House Calligraphers either, until last week. o_o

    You can’t make this shit up….

    Comment by gramps (bf1b3d) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:01 am

  18. Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if this was an overly anal reaction by the Secret Service rather than something His Majesty thought of. But the notion that he couldn’t eat at the function in question gets to the point of being ridiculous.

    Comment by The amused Dana (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:02 am

  19. Bubba hit the burger joints and Obama’s been taped for TV in all sorts of ice cream parlors and pizza palaces.

    This. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Secret Service watched while his food was prepared, but the idea that he can’t eat without a “taster” seems preposterous.

    Comment by Rob Crawford (6c262f) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:06 am

  20. I thought that food tasters were only needed by evil tyrants hated by so many people that he can’t even trust his own staff.

    Our politics have become so ecumenical that “derangement syndrome” has become institutionalized.

    Just another indicator that the size and scope of government HAS to be drastically down-sized.

    “Bastille Day” is coming!….and so is July 14th.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:12 am

  21. Comment by Mark (6ae95d) — 3/15/2013 @ 9:14 am

    Everyone knows that meeting Republicans for lunch is much more dangerous than mingling with the hoi polloi,
    because on-the-street, everyone loves The Lightworker.
    Bread & Circuses do have that effect on the populace.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:15 am

  22. well, no one ever successfully argued that our SCOAMF was brave.

    and i don’t believe that the MFM wouldn’t have made a big deal about Reagan or the Bush’s using tasters, given the level of hatred they had/have for them, so i have my doubts about those prior claims. the propaganda arm of the Demonrat Party have proven they aren’t honest, so this sudden “everyone else did it too!” news coverage/defense reeks of BS.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:20 am

  23. Teh King is dead…long eat teh King…

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (2be9f6) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:51 am

  24. Makes sense… Muslims can’t eat shellfish.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (2be9f6) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:52 am

  25. 23- Speaking of Muslims, it has been well noted that Brennan took his Oath-of-Office (DirCIA) on a copy of the U.S.Constitution (an early draft sans Bill of Rights, it should be noted), and there has been much speculation about his Islamic sympathies.
    Could his choice for his Oath been due to the possibility of apostasy if he had sworn an oath on a Christian Bible?

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 3/15/2013 @ 11:07 am

  26. Assuming that there have been Presidential tasters for some years, the next question is, who is the retard that didn’t think to bring the Official Taster (how does one get that gig?) to a lunch event?

    Comment by Strabo (2c1248) — 3/15/2013 @ 11:17 am

  27. the simple explanation for Brennan is, just like the idiot who appointed him, he’s a self-absorbed jerk who never misses a chance to do the wrong thing, because he can.

    of course, he may be a closet moose slime, just like the First Failure, but that just supports what i said in the first sentence.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:02 pm

  28. I wonder if the real reason he cancelled White House tours is somebody (James Clapper? Tom Donilon?) said they shouldn’t be done for security reasons and he took advantage of this opportunity.

    Otherwise, really, he should have backed down by now. Jerry Brown would have.

    Otherwise you have to try to figure out what’s the matter with Obama.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:10 pm

  29. It doesn’t really matter if a few Republicans die, but if the King dies, that’s very different.

    J. Edgar Hoover used to donate unsolicited food to old age homes, or some other kinds of institutions. I don’t remember exactly what sortas of places, but I read this (without any specific names)

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:13 pm

  30. Isn’t Larry Sinclair known for tasting the Presidunce??

    Comment by Gus (694db4) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:18 pm

  31. This is more a problem with the Secret Service’s total-control fetish than with Obama. Maybe the taster was let go due to the sequester.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:18 pm

  32. The President’s taster had said,
    This is really good bread!
    He gobbled it down
    And then made a frown
    And ten minutes later was dead.

    Comment by The Limerick Avenger (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:31 pm

  33. Michelle said to Barack’s taster
    Watch out for the stuff in the baster
    It’s full of fat
    I don’t want that
    To go to the President’s waster.

    Comment by The Limerick Avenger (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:33 pm

  34. Our Prez, he is full of class
    So he said as the taster went past
    Watch what Michelle eats
    She likes her treats
    But it all goes straight to her ass.

    Comment by The Limerick Avenger (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:37 pm

  35. The Prez amazed Senatrix Sue
    Who arranged for the food at her do,
    His taster weren’t there
    So he couldn’t share
    Great food, which made the Prez blue.

    Comment by The Limerick Avenger (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:43 pm

  36. Comment by Colonel Haiku (2be9f6) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:52 am

    Makes sense… Muslims can’t eat shellfish.


    I never heard anything like that. Only pork.

    Shellfish (or lobster) is the other item common in the American diet that (religiously observant) Jews can’t eat.

    Jews also can’t eat milk with meat or anything leavened or that could contain leaven on Passover.

    Meat also must be properly slaughtered and also prepared in special ways to eliminate blood afterwards. (Moslems want their meat slaughtered too and can accept kosher slaughtering but the reverse is not the case)

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:43 pm

  37. Been able to live
    All this time without taster
    But no one hates me

    Comment by The Senryu Avenger (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:45 pm

  38. No one would poison
    Barack Hussein Obama
    And stick us with Joe!

    Comment by The Senryu Avenger (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:48 pm

  39. redc14 – one of my links is a scan of a physical newspaper printed in 1988.

    so *either* you have to assume that someone created a fake newspaper, OR you have to concede that “this isn’t a new practice” is a reasonable claim.

    I think that assuming someone went to the effort of concocting a fake newspaper and feeding it into google’s scan of newspapers, back whenever google actually did this scan, is preposterous.

    Comment by aphrael (a57543) — 3/15/2013 @ 12:59 pm

  40. Also: were I ever appointed to an office that required me to swear an oath, I would find something other than the Bible to swear on. I’m not Christian; a Bible doesn’t make an oath binding to me, and if my word isn’t enough (absent some symbolic binding which the Bible is in my case wrongly thought to provide), then we should find something which I actually value, and use that for the symbolic binding.

    Comment by aphrael (a57543) — 3/15/2013 @ 1:00 pm

  41. The President by Sue was pestered
    “My food’s good, it hasn’t festered,”
    The Prez, he waxed wroth,
    His taster laid off,
    Seems that he had been sequestered!

    Comment by The Limerick Avenger (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 1:03 pm

  42. Aphrael, you can’t swear on that!

    Comment by The Dana ducking and running for cover (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 1:06 pm

  43. Aphrael wrote:

    Also: were I ever appointed to an office that required me to swear an oath, I would find something other than the Bible to swear on.

    John Brennan, the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, swore his oath of office on an original draft of the Constitution. And after all of those years of Catholic schools . . . . :(

    Comment by The Dana who's more serious this time (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 1:08 pm

  44. Perhaps Director Brennan thought that if he swore on the Bible, it would offend his Muslim friends.

    Comment by The Dana who's much more serious this time (3e4784) — 3/15/2013 @ 1:15 pm

  45. We’ve known for a long time that Obama doesn’t have any taste.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (d0f715) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:06 pm

  46. This obviously because of a sequester cut and the fault of the evil Republicans.

    Comment by Mattsky (7c21d0) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:08 pm

  47. Makes sense… Muslims can’t eat shellfish.

    Depends what kind of Moslems. Hanafi don’t allow them, but all the other Sunni schools do. Shi’ites allow some shellfish but not others.

    Comment by Milhouse (15b6fd) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:08 pm

  48. Brennan needed George Stephanopoulos there to throw him a lifeline and remind him about “your Christian faith.”

    Comment by Elephant Stone (d0f715) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:15 pm

  49. A taster?!?!

    What the hell kind of country are we running here?

    The Preezy ought to eschew Air Force One and tool around in one of these.

    Beechcraft AT-6

    Just him and the guy with the football.

    What’s the worst that can happen? Is Putin gonna kidnap him if the Preezy drops into Moscow in one of those babies?

    Actually the opposite would happen. Putin would tell whatever agency that inherited the KGB directorate’s job of guarding foreign VIPs to double up. Cuz this guy’s a freak.

    Plus the Preezy could swing by A-stan and do a little close air support or battlefield air interdiction.

    It would be good for American industry, too. Karzai doesn’t need jets.

    He can have the Preezy’s taster though. If he buys enough Beechcraft AT-6s, we’ll throw the taster in.

    What kind of pantywaist country have we turned into? Tasters!

    Comment by Steve57 (60a887) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:23 pm

  50. I don’t know Shi’ite from shinola, milhouse…

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (653d21) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:31 pm

  51. Avenger’s on a roll!

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (653d21) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:32 pm

  52. Dana – I’d find the Constitution to be much more useful a signifier than the Bible, for myself.

    Comment by aphrael (a57543) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:33 pm

  53. There once was a prez named Obama
    Under His “leadership” nothin’ but drama
    Governs like a mobster
    Won’t eat teh damn lobster
    mint jelly with rack of llama?

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (bec6ba) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:40 pm

  54. Did he have a taster when he ate dog?

    Comment by JD (4bb5d1) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:48 pm

  55. who was his taster with Reggie Love?

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 3/15/2013 @ 2:57 pm


    Comment by DEBBIE DAMASCUS (ed424a) — 3/15/2013 @ 3:02 pm

  57. how much to get you to turn off the CAPS LOCK?

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 3/15/2013 @ 3:47 pm

  58. Aphrael wrote:

    Dana – I’d find the Constitution to be much more useful a signifier than the Bible, for myself.

    I suppose that, if you aren’t Christian, it would have to be; taking an oath on a book you don’t believe pretty much signifies you have no respect for the oath.

    Were I in my alter ego as the snarky Dana, I’d suggest that President Obama should have taken his oath of office on a picture of himself, signifying that which he loves most. :)

    Comment by The Catholic Dana (af9ec3) — 3/15/2013 @ 3:49 pm

  59. Colonel, all that you have to know is that they are full of shi’ite!

    Comment by The disrespectful Dana (af9ec3) — 3/15/2013 @ 3:51 pm

  60. Dear Susan Collins:

    Nothing tells you just how much a man loves your cooking as to require a professional tester to sample it first.

    Comment by Ann Landers (af9ec3) — 3/15/2013 @ 3:56 pm

  61. Were I in my alter ego as the snarky Dana, I’d suggest that President Obama should have taken his oath of office on a picture of himself, signifying that which he loves most.

    Da Winnah!

    Comment by Bill M (e0a4e5) — 3/15/2013 @ 4:05 pm

  62. I’m telling you, Lindsay, you fag you
    it’s not kosher to eat teh beef wagyu
    Tell old man McCain
    In my ass, he’s a pain
    Pack your bags and get out
    teh both you

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (03e454) — 3/15/2013 @ 4:20 pm

  63. Oaths are anti-Christian. Seriously. The Bible is pretty clear on that.

    E.g., “But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:34-37)

    The Constitution provides for oath or affirmation.

    And, in any event, you’re gonna believe a politician when he promises something?

    Comment by nk who has opened a Bible one time (53646e) — 3/15/2013 @ 4:38 pm

  64. Well he’s certainly forgotten where he came from. Tasted and swallowed according to those who knew Soetoro.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 3/15/2013 @ 6:23 pm

  65. OT x 3,
    1) Wisconsin beat Michigan in Big 10 B-Ball tourney (no Flo, Badgers don’t hug)
    2) We are deploying more missile defense in the pacific to protect against NK attacks??? That sounds like a rational national defense move, what gives?
    3) As I came across this site years ago in regards to the schiavo case, I thought I would mention I heard of a memorial foundation run by her family of origin that supports others who are fighting on behalf of those with profound mental deficits/injury.

    It is based outside of Philly, where her brother lives, i guess. they are having a functionj in a few weeks with palin speaking ($150/person tickets).

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 3/15/2013 @ 7:43 pm

  66. Can’t Obama just eat his waffle ?

    Comment by Elephant Stone (b06c48) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:01 pm

  67. Obama may not have eaten dinner that night, but there’s no question he drank the Kool-Aid.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (b06c48) — 3/15/2013 @ 8:04 pm

  68. I guess it makes sense in this day and age but it is so hard to grasp since the average person doesn’t think twice about going out to eat.

    Comment by carol (934216) — 3/15/2013 @ 9:28 pm

  69. Maybe they’d think twice about it if my crop duster looked like this.

    Pimp My Air Tractor!

    Sorry. Just angling for a White House invite. ‘Scuse me.

    Comment by Steve57 (60a887) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:01 pm

  70. Really. I’m very sorry. I’ve got lots of problems. But I have much in common (no pun intended for the recent “poet” Mooch had over) with frequent WH visitor Jay-Z as I may have 99 problems but a b***h ain’t one.

    Comment by Steve57 (60a887) — 3/15/2013 @ 10:12 pm

  71. Everyone is assuming the poison was intended for Commandante Zero. To the contrary, the poison was put in the lunch to kill the Republicans. The Commandante supplied an excuse not to eat the treacherous lunch. We can expect the slow-acting poison to kill its intended targets any week now.

    Comment by ErisGuy (76f8a7) — 3/16/2013 @ 4:46 am

  72. When POTUS accepts a lunch invitation with Senate Republicans wouldn’t you expect his WH staff would know food would be served and make sure the taster went along with the bodyguards and the other assorted minders in the entourage? He’s surrounded by partisans and bootlickers, not imbeciles.

    The whole thing sounds like a petty spur-of-the-moment excuse so Obama could make a clean getaway and avoid breaking bread with his enemies.

    Comment by ropelight (1d918b) — 3/16/2013 @ 7:21 am

  73. That’s funny as hell. Like he’s having dinner with the Borgia’s. What a freekin’ coward. Even when Bush #1 was pukin’ all over the Japs nobody suggested he was poisoned. But wait….perhaps?

    Comment by Hoagie (3259ab) — 3/16/2013 @ 7:36 am

  74. Is The Presidential Taster a civil service job? If so, we now have a perfect position for ALGORE. Or do we need to send in Seal Team Six to tast Bambi’s Jello?

    Comment by Hoagie (3259ab) — 3/16/2013 @ 7:41 am

  75. He should taste this:

    Endocannabinoids A Video

    There are more cannabinoid receptors in the body than any other receptor type.

    The endocannabinoid system is a major regulator in the body implicated in almost all diseases including cancer.

    Comment by M. Simon (1aa256) — 3/16/2013 @ 8:13 am

  76. Watch for the forthcoming memoir:
    “Eight Years of Arugula — My Time in Hell”
    by The Official White House Food Taster

    Comment by Icy (b7d4d9) — 3/16/2013 @ 11:25 am

  77. Another unintended consequence of the sequester:

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 3/16/2013 @ 7:33 pm

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