By John Saulnier, FFB Editorial Director
It was a meal fit for a King, a President and Gridiron Greats – that is, a Burger King, an American President and the Clemson Tigers burning bright on the green sporting fields of day and night!
For good measure McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Domino’s fare was also on Donald Trump’s special menu for hungry Tigers honored at the White House on January 14. And, yes indeed, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football champions and other guests attending the candlelight buffet in the East Room “got fries with that.”
The value-added spuds were served in paper cups bearing the official seal of the President of the United States, while the hamburgers, fillet-o-fish and chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, pizza and salads were piled high atop silver platters.
But not a “mile high,” as Trump exaggerated.
Ever on guard against fake news, fact checkers at Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post newspaper provided readers a huge scoop by pointing out that “at two inches each, a thousand burgers would not reach one mile high.”
But we digress.
While it is no secret that Clemson University’s star quarterback Trevor Lawrence is partial to Chick-Fil-A fast food fare, he did not complain about the lack of Chick-n-Minis at the celebratory bash.
“It was awesome. We had McDonald’s and everything. It was good,” said Lawrence, who led his team to a 15-0 season and a second national championship in three years after crushing the storied Alabama Crimson Tide 44-16 on January 7.
“We have pizzas, we have 300 hamburgers, many, many french fries – all of our favorite foods,” Trump told the players. “I want to see what’s here when we leave, because I don’t think it’s going to be much.”
These days in Washington, DC, and across the USA there is an ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government now well into its third week due to a budgetary impasse between Democrats and Republicans over the President’s $5.7 billion request for funds to bolster security along the United States-Mexico border. Meanwhile, as the fiscal deficit rose 17% to $779 billion in 2018, the national debt jumped $1.2 trillion to surpass $21 trillion for the first time in history,
The political stalemate has left the White House kitchen (though not the kitchen cabinet) shorthanded, as furloughed culinary personnel were not on hand to prepare proper meals when the Tigers prowled the premises looking for something to eat after being ceremoniously honored for their athletic prowess on the football field.
“So I had a choice,” Trump told the team huddling in the East Room prior to chow time. “Do we have no food for you? Or do we give you some quick little salads that the first lady will make along with the second lady. They’ll make some salads. And I said, “You guys aren’t into salads.”
The President continued: “We’ve got Big Macs. We’ve got Quarter Pounders. We’ve got everything that I like and you like.”
And so the fast food feast began. As the Clemson athletes wolfed down french fries and pizza with pleasure, and it appeared that Big Macs were besting Wendy’s burgers in terms of volume consumption, it was clear that the event was a winning touchdown for frozen food producers who supply the QSR industry. And it didn’t cost the taxpayers a dime, as Trump personally paid the tab.
The banquet portrayed a Fast Food Nation in all its glory. Proudly proclaiming the copious spread to be “Great American Food,” but declining to specify which dish was his favorite, the President remarked: “I like them all. If it’s American, I like it. It’s all American stuff.”