‘Why can’t I just eat my waffle?’

April 22, 2008

obama-in-pa.jpgSCRANTON, Pa. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama kicked off a day of campaigning in Pennsylvania by dropping by a Scranton diner for a breakfast of waffles, sausage and orange juice.
But the press corps went hungry — hungry for an answer that is.
The Illinois senator brushed aside a question from one reporter on his reaction to former President Jimmy Carter’s description of a positive meeting with leaders of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas.
“Why can’t I just eat my waffle?” Obama replied.
Reporters traveling with the Illinois senator, fighting with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton over Pennsylvania ahead of its vote on Tuesday, are venting frustration over a lack of access to the candidate lately. Obama has not held a press availability in 10 days, though he has given dozens of interviews to local press in Pennyslvania.
Republicans have pounced on Obama’s “waffle” comment, suggesting he is evading tough questions.
“Today, Obama continued to dodge questions from the media, responding that he just wanted to eat his waffle,” the Republican National Committee said in an email sent to reporters that included press accounts of the waffle incident at the Glider diner.
Both Obama and Clinton are far less accessible to the media than presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, known for holding lengthy question-and-answer sessions with reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus.
The sessions last so long that some reporters say they run out of questions.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Tim Shaffer (Obama greets Pennsylvania supporter)


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Obama: Waaaah, you promised not to get so tough guys

I wanna have my cake and eat it too

Posted by David shaw | Report as abusive

How is this man going to run the country.

Posted by Tina | Report as abusive

Q. “Why can’t I just eat my waffle?”

A. Because you chose to run for President. On top of that, you said the issues matter and you have criticized questions that you say weren’t about issues. The Hamas question was about an issue. It was not about your breakfast, either time it was asked.

Posted by Dave F. | Report as abusive

Phone rings. It’s 3AM. Obama: “Come on, can’t I just eat my waffle?”

Posted by Tamara | Report as abusive

A. No, because the press must earn money to buy waffles too.

Posted by Dave M. | Report as abusive

Am I reading National Lampoon? What a stupid issue for the real world. Get over it.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

Oh, come on. The man should be able to eat in peace. And while it’s fair for the gaggle around Obama to get a little miffed that he doesn’t spend more time talking to them, at the same time it’s obvious that he’s got no real incentive to do so when these are the stories that get written. John McCain is a media darling because he’s happy to talk to the press, but his ability to answer to the American people leaves a lot to be desired. Obama would rather spend time on the ground with actual voters, and the press excoriate him for wanting to eat his breakfast without interruption for a catch-22 type question. Nice.

Posted by thisniss | Report as abusive

Obama already answered the same question before, so why should he disrupt his breakfast for a rude reporter that should have known his/her manners?

Posted by WaffleNut | Report as abusive

The word “waffle” alone is enough to put a candidate in political peril.

Posted by George H. | Report as abusive

How stupid is this? Obama decides not turn his breakfast into a press conference and his opponents with the help of the media use it to spin up another meaningless issue.

The truly stupid thing is some people actually buy into these type tactics. See the prior posts for case and point.

It’s breakfast people. Besides, there nothing enjoyable about a cold waffle.

Posted by Oeno | Report as abusive

To be accessible does not mean answer every question every minute of the day..Hillery has an advance team that screens ALL the people that are allowed around her or close to her..Chelsea has guards to keep people screened for proper voter responce…This is petty!!!

Posted by Docb | Report as abusive

While you eat . lets read this article here.
It answers the open questions.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/art icle/2662

Posted by hlg | Report as abusive

Simple Really: “Senator Obama, Since you are destined for the White House, is that what you’ll have the cook preparing for you breakfast?” Let’s see here, would Obama have minded answering that??? I think not.

If you don’t want to answer questions during breakfast, do not have breakfast with reporters.

If you do not want to be interrupted, deal with tough questions, get tired, get frustrated, do not run for President.

Posted by yael | Report as abusive

The Republican Party should be worried, since McCain’s answers to Stupidnopolis on Sunday morning, on why he had saught for Hague’s endorsement. Then he stated he shouldn’t have, but he’ll accept the endorsement.

McCain’s Straight Talk Express is NOT so straight anymore.

Posted by Boogyeman | Report as abusive

If he wants privacy order room service…..obviously he didn’t want privacy, he went public to eat.
He loves it when the press is around…this was just another Obama elitist, arrogant attitude letting the reporter know he thinks he is better than they are.
You don’t like the heat don’t go in the kitchen….there is private room service…he can afford it.

Posted by Jan | Report as abusive

those of you throwing a hissy fit over this should just grow up. What part of “he has given dozens of interviews to the local press” do you not understand?

Posted by ed | Report as abusive

He always ducks, he always evades. The sign of a real wimp. Good material for a University Professor. Bad material for President.

Posted by Johnny B. Goode | Report as abusive

This one thing the ObamaBabies just can’t seem to grasp.
This guy is trying to be the President of the United States. It is, if not the #1 most powerful position for a single person in the world, it’s in the top 5.
This is not kindergarten, or the grade school playground. You can’t get “do overs”. You can’t blame it on the dog or say “well, Johnny did it, too” (which is something I read a lot from ObamaBaby posters).
Grow up and be Adults for crissake.
If this guy OR HIS SUPPORTERS can’t take tough questions, or the constant pressure, then they shpould repack their Hannah Montana lunch and pencil boxes and go home.

Posted by RoBoTech | Report as abusive

This isn’t even newsworthy.. The man was trying to eat breakfast, which is kind of necessary in order to have energy during the day.

If I was trying to enjoy breakfast and people I don’t know were bothering me, I’d probably be a lot more rude than he was.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

I like a man who eats waffles. I feed them to my son. Hopefully one day he can grow up, run for president, and fend off rabid reporters while he eats his waffles!

Posted by Dee T | Report as abusive

I guess it’s ok to talk to the Waffle King if he’s eating pumpkin pie (he first mentioned Trinity United Church of Christ while seated at a table in a diner). Just not waffles — never waffles.

If one of Obama’s aides pulled this stunt on Obama, he’d be out on the street in no time. The Fourth Estate is supposed to be our representative in dealing with putative representatives of the government — if Obama disses them, what will he do to us?

I guess he’s realized that every time he opens his mouth, he opens a new can of worms.

Posted by unclesmrgol | Report as abusive

Its amazing how many Obama supported see and hear only what they want to see and hear and make ezcuses for everything else. How naieve can you get!

Posted by Eddy | Report as abusive

God Help Us….

People here are actaully making a big deal over someone wanting to eat their breakfast and because he want to eat his breakfast instead of answering a rude reporter who just cant wait until the man finish his meal… now he’s is not worthy of being the president.

Let the witch hunt continue….


All of you who demean this guy…. the bible says
Let he who is WITHOUT SIN cast the first stone
If YOU don’t forgive YOU will not be forgiven
How can you say YOU love God who you have not seen when you HATE your fellow man who you see everyday

Wake up Cafeteria Christians… You cant pick and choose what parts of the Bible that suit yourself. Can someone please get this message to Sean Hannity … He seems to be leader of the Cafeteria Christians who denegrate Barak on a daily/hourly/minute-by-minute, second-by-second basis.

I pray for you all. YOU NEED IT BAD.

Posted by Omentum | Report as abusive

If you had been blindsided as many times as Obama, you might be as cautious about answering questions. Ask me when my opinion really matters not when it will be parsed, misquoted, misinterpreted, and used as cannon fodder against me. Others will have hours to reflect on how best to use whatever I say to their best advantage.

Posted by chuck | Report as abusive

If he was in the men’s room taking a bathroom break is he supposed to answer questions? – Come on guys – the media can wait for 15 min.

Grow up for heaven’s or rather the USA’s sake.

Posted by lil | Report as abusive

That is a funny blue collar thing to say. Why can’t I just eat my waffle? is good for Obama

Posted by lw | Report as abusive

Are you serious with this waffle thing. Oh man.

If this were a contest strictly on judgement, integrity, poise, leadership, inspiration, change and NOT on typical political games, there is no contest. Obama is the obvious choice. I am optimistic that our country is tired of the games and are ready to get some real stuff done. I think the world is watching very closely and our character as a country is being defined. Let’s hope it is defined by Obama and not Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. Our choice…and we deserve whatever the consequences of that choice are. Stay strong and focused Obama. If your campaign over the last 16 months is any indication of how you will run the White House – WOW.

Posted by SMS | Report as abusive

He’s been speaking to tons of local news reporters. The way that mass-media has been desperate for news to fill their 24 hour line-ups goes to show how clean he really is. No sex scandals or secret tax returns here. Instead, media pounces on flag pins and waffles.


Oh, and all you chest-thumping Hillary and McCain fans touting about straight shooting and response to the press, you keep letting Clinton smile, joke, and walk away, or McCain talk in circles, and you’re up in arms about breakfast?

Pay attention to what matters. And I swear, I hear that tired old kitchen metaphor again, I’ll snap.

Posted by Adam Assenza | Report as abusive

Let the man eat his breakfast in peace. He was going to have a long day ahead of him and needed to have some food for energy. Besides, as a Scranton native, let me assure you that if you had ever had the Glider’s food, you would want to finish your breakfast too…..It’s the best diner in the world and a Scranton landmark. Funny that Hillary who always talks about her Scranton roots didn’t make it there.

Posted by Berni | Report as abusive

Obama has a $1,000,000 tour bus to eat on in private. He dined with the common folk for political reasons, so he could look like a common folk instead of an elitist which he is. He could at least take questions and be approachable. If he really wanted privacy for his waffle fix, he should have just went on the bus. Very simple. Politicians are in the public light and they HAVE no privacy unless they make privacy.

Posted by Bob Eckert | Report as abusive

Just notice something here: The articles mentions in a sentence hidden in the middle of all the waffle talk:”he has given dozens of interviews to local press in Pennyslvania”

Where are the quotes from these interviews? Did they mention anything about them or how long they were? No, the only quote they got out of the DOZEN interviews he’s had in Pennsylvania is a 2 second waffle comment? And then they have the audacity to criticize him for not wanting to talk to reports during a 15 minute breakfast?

Posted by Etch | Report as abusive

At least he did not “cackle” and burst into some more laughs and then make a stupid excuse. Get over it people, he has a right to eat his breakfast in peace and not answer the same question repeatedly.

Posted by Audrey Thompson | Report as abusive

The clip I saw showed Michelle Obama reaching over and across her husband when he was eating. Talk about poor table manners! Maybe she missed manners in all her high falutin’ education!

Posted by Linda Cowan | Report as abusive

Do Americans realize that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are cold-calling American voters for the Obama campaign? Al Jazeera recently reported on a group of young Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who took it upon themselves to get together and randomly cold-call Americans in the U.S., encouraging them to vote for Obama.

Abu Juyyab said through an interpreter, that since January, he and 17 friends have called Americans randomly via the Internet before each primary. Yet Federal Election Law “prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly.”

Cleta Mitchell, an election law expert who works with Republican clients, told FOX that the money spent at an Internet café to make these calls definitely qualifies as a contribution and that the Obama team needs to track them down and “tell them to stop.” Yeah right! He’ll get right on that!

Posted by DJ | Report as abusive

[…] you know — the waffles. Do you mind? A guy has a right to enjoy a tasty meal.* Posted by Jeff G. @ 7:08 pm | Trackback SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “What is the opposite of […]

Posted by What is the opposite of “mau-mauing the flak catchers”? | Report as abusive

[…] And, sometimes, the product and the packaging are used in a reverse psychology kind of way. Remember when, in April, Barack Obama arrived — hungry — at a diner, the media swarmed all over him and he said, “Why can’t I just eat my waffle?” […]

Posted by Obama footwear: would you wear them? | House on a hill | Report as abusive

[…] Campaigning in Scranton, Pennsylvania in April, when asked his reaction to former President Jimmy Carter’s decision to meet with leaders of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, Obama’s response was “Why can’t I just eat my waffle? “ […]

Posted by Heather Robinson » Those on the Front Lines Prefer McCain – and Here’s Why | Report as abusive

Uhm. Obama has a right to eat his meal without having to answer questions that aren’t important to society.

Posted by uhm | Report as abusive

Somebody got in his face looking for a reaction and got one. Surprise, he is human.

Posted by JimTheDiver | Report as abusive