Obama Regrets Redistributing 1 Percent-Priced Sandwich at Fair-Wages Deli

by Andrew Johnson

The president paid a visit to Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich., today as part of his push to increase the minimum wage.

Zingerman’s, he says, pays its employees “fair wages.” Whether they’re fair enough to afford the lunch the president had isn’t clear: He ordered a small Reuben for $13.99; larges go for nearly $17.

In his remarks, he bumped up against some fundamental issues of fairness, too. Thinking his sandwich was too big at first, he gave half of it to adviser Valerie Jarrett. But he came to regret committing himself to redistribution.

“After I finished [my] half, I wanted the half back,” he said. “But it was too late, all she had was the pickle — so I took the pickle.”

President Obama also trotted out some schoolyard jokes, going after his Republican opponents with some wordplay that seemed to amuse his college-aged supporters.

“If they tried to this sell [Paul Ryan's budget] at Zingerman’s, they’d have to call it the ’stinkburger’ or the ‘meanwich,’” he said.