The message President Obama wanted to convey at Wednesday's rally in Ann Arbor, Mich., was one of raising the minimum wage. He made his case, and we've heard a version of this speech before. But lurking behind the push for a federal $10.10-an-hour standard was a personal tale of heartbreak. It's a tale that reaffirms the treachery of friendship and the undying bonds between a man and his sandwich.
OK, let's begin the tale.
A Man and His Sandwich
On a cool, clear Wednesday afternoon, the president of the United States, commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces, the leader of the free world, walked into a sandwich shop.
A red-brick building on a brick-lined street, Zingerman's in Ann Arbor boasts thousands of sandwich choices. The president, feeling assured in the face of a thousand possible choices, chose the Reuben.
"Both the president and Congressman [Gary] Peters stood in front of a large display case filled with salads, meats, desserts, and other goodies," Benjamin Wolfgang, a reporter with The Washington Times, confirms in a pool report. "Both men ordered Reuben sandwiches (apparently a specialty) and iced teas, while POTUS also got a side of 'Che Che spin' salad."
But the president himself tells a slightly different story, one of promise and disappointment.
This is how he tells it.
"I stopped at Zingerman's," the president starts, telling his tale among a crowd of cheerful young scholars, "which is the right thing to do when you're in Ann Arbor."
He was just trying to do the right thing.
"I stopped for two reasons. The first is, the Reuben is killer."
As they generally are. But darkness lurked.
"So I ordered like the small, and it didn't look that small."
Faced with the bounty. He, again, turned to do the right thing.
"So I gave half to Valerie Jarrett who's traveling with us."
And all seemed OK.
"And then after I finished the half, I wanted the half back."
"But it was too late. All she had left was the pickle. So I took the pickle."