President Barack Obama went shopping at an independent book store on Saturday – the day of the year designed to remind shoppers to spend some time shopping at mom-and-pop independent stores as the holiday shopping season begins. The day is labeled “Small Business Saturday.” Obama was at Politics and Prose which is a popular Washington bookstore, according to a Huffington Post report on Sunday. The store is owned by persons with political connections as the owner is a former Washington Post reporter and his wife used to work for Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department and the White House.
The president made his trip to the bookstore with daughters Malia and Sasha. Of course, the daughters were in headlines this past weekend as well when a politician’s staffer criticized the girls for their attitudes and their attire during the president’s Thanksgiving address on Thursday when a turkey was traditionally pardoned. As Obama browsed the books, there were noteworthy – if not newsworthy – occurrences. According to the New York Post, Obama spotted a new book by Chuck Todd, the new of “Meet the Press.” Malia, the older of Obama’s two daughters who is now 16, said, “How is he writing a book already?” She followed her question with the opinionated comment, “Sad.” Obama allegedly joked by saying a one word response: “He’s just sad.”
Of course, Obama knows Todd as he was interviewed by him on Sept. 7 when Todd got the new post as host of his political talk show. The new book by Todd, “The Stranger,” is said to be a writing that blasts the president for getting little accomplished during his time in office. Todd’s take is that Obama flip flops too much to accomplish much. Incidentally, the television viewer’s response to Todd has not been a good one as the ratings for “Meet the Press” have plummeted further since he became the host.
Nonetheless, beyond the overhearing of the Obamas’ blasting Todd as being sad, one of the persons who were also in the store reportedly shouted a question inquiring about when Guantanamo is going to be closed. Obama responded by saying that it is being worked on. Other than that, there was a bit of light verbal exchange at the register where Obama produced his credit card. Obviously referencing the incident when he was dining with his wife at Estela restaurant in Nomo recently and his credit card failed to work, he said to this clerk, “I hope it works!” as he put 17 books on the counter.
The clerks asked if Obama is from out of town and he exclaimed, “I am,” and then quipped, “Do I get a discount for that?” The clerk joked, “Up-charge sometimes.” That’s when another clerk stepped up and said, “I think you get the neighbor discount.”
Obama has shopped on “Independent Business Saturday” in the past as well. The day is wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. He tends to enjoy giving the day extra publicity for independent retailers throughout the nation – which is something they would obviously appreciate.