The vice president of the United States — who would, should some tragedy befall our nation, assume the most powerful position in the country — walked from the White House to a nearby sandwich shop on Thursday, because it had sandwiches from Delaware. Delaware, in Joe Biden's estimation, is the best state and the state that makes the best sandwiches.
The pool report, from the Huffington Post's Jen Bendery, describes Biden's "cool" exit from the Executive Mansion: he "flipped on his aviators and off we went to Capriotti's, a Delaware-based Italian hoagie chain that opened a shop today." A "giddy crowd" greeted the vice president, as did the "Racing Presidents," the Washington Nationals baseball team's puppet-monster representations of some of the nation's founding fathers.
Biden strolled in, easy-peasy, and placed his order. Two Italian subs, one with peppers, no onions. Two other subs, peppers on the side. "The only way to eat these things is with hot peppers," the vice president of the United States said to a crowd that included adults dressed in oversized president costumes, "but not everybody understands that. You know what I mean?"
"This is gonna settle once and for all, the best sandwich in America is out of Wilmington, Del. I'm bringing one back for the president. No more of this stuff about Chicago and Philly and New York. This settles it," he said. "You guys want to get this settled. And end it. I'm ready man. The president is waiting. I'm having lunch with him today."
(In the White House, President Obama's phone rings. He answers, listens, sighs. "That's today?" He checks his watch. "Yeah, OK. I promised.")
"As he waited for his food, Biden was still trying to convince people that Delaware makes the best sandwiches ever," Bendery reports. A reporter asked him what he thought would happen in the Senate, a body in which Biden served for years and which simultaneously upended long-standing procedure in a bitter fight over presidential appointments. "They're going to learn to eat Capriotti's, is what's gonna happen in the Senate," Biden replied. Then he taunted the Racing Presidents, saying that they couldn't go to Capriotti's in Delaware because the people there are Phillies fans.
There was one little snafu.
The total was $56.25. Biden pulled out a wad of cash and realized he was short. "Alright man," he said, and then turned around and called out to Fran Person, his personal aide, "Fran, you got ten bucks?"
The pool report does not indicate whether or not Fran had the 10 bucks. It is possible that Obama had to prematurely end his call with a world leader, cross the street, and dig into his wallet. He may then have said, "This is the last time, Joe" — but who can stay mad at Joe Biden?