1. Fast food is a vital part of the American story. But this is cut-rate fast food.
First of all, you are not dealing with a writer who considers himself above much of anything. I blog for the people, with Chick-fil-A frosted lemonade in my other hand at this exact moment. This post about Taco Bell is one of this company’s best posts.
So it is not with snobbery, but with disappointment, that I say the head chef’s basic-ass McDonald’s and Wendy’s selections betray a lack of imagination.
You could make these athletes feel like they’re back home in South Carolina by giving them Bojangles. You could welcome them to DC by giving them Five Guys.
Instead, with roughly as much cost and effort as either of those curations would’ve required, you served them a meal they could’ve gotten almost literally anywhere on earth.
Ignore geography, even. Just go for quality. DC has Shake Shack, Popeyes, Chipotle, Checkers, Panda Express, and so on, all of which are vastly superior to a basic McDonald’s sandwich.
2. Such a novice fast food spread might feel like it suggests a lack of familiarity with the modern working person.
Of course a person who’s never had to eat fast food only knows the absolute basics. “This is what people without chefs eat, right?”
3. Except Trump really does love a specific kind of fast food: the very biggest brands available.
He likes McDonald’s — partly because it’s so huge, it probably doesn’t intentionally contain poison — and pounds Diet Coke like a football coach inhales Red Bull. He likes his steaks burnt with ketchup. Going healthy means replacing KFC chicken with mashed potatoes, a different item KFC serves.
Love to be ruled by the kid from Blank Check pic.twitter.com/9iPJYZu5If— Sean O'Neal (@seanoneal) January 14, 2019
The man did a Pizza Hut ad with one of his ex-wives.
He is deeply about this mass-produced life.
4. All the BUSINESS! in his brain is probably what leads him to just go with whatever is the most popular.
“Billions and billions served” must mean McDonalds is good, right?
5. And there’s a larger BUSINESS! angle here: the timing of Clemson’s visit.
Of late, college football’s national champions have usually visited the White House in mid-April, around the end of spring practice. Last year, Alabama visited Trump on April 10. So why is Clemson already there three months earlier than usual?
One theory: this aligns Clemson’s visit with the record-length government shutdown, making political props of the Tigers and setting up the following statement by spokesperson Sarah Sanders:
The President wanted to host a fun event to celebrate the College Football National Champion Clemson Tigers. Because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security, much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed – so the President is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods.
You can see that messaging in the pool report on Trump’s answer to a line of questioning about whether he prefers McDonald’s or Wendy’s:
They had a fantastic game against Alabama and they’re all here. They’re right outside the room and I think we’re going to let you see them. But I’ll bet you, as much food as we have — we have pizzas, we have 300 hamburgers, many, many french fries, all of our favorite foods — I want to see what’s here when we leave, because I don’t think it’s going to be much.
The reason we did this is because of the shutdown. We want to make sure that everything is right, so we sent out, we got this. And we have some wonderful people working in the White House. They helped us out with this. And I will say the Republicans are really, really sticking together. It’s great to see it because we need border security. We have to have it. We have to have it. No doubt about it, should have happened 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago. And it’s going to happen now, going to happen now.
Thank you very much everybody.
Getting to blame the rival politicians for your government being broken and getting to be the guy who personally swooped in to provide dinner to student-athletes? What a fortunately timed visit by Clemson.
When you shut the government down but promised you'd cater pic.twitter.com/JarILzENH5— Simply TC (@BienSur_JeTaime) January 15, 2019
6. Clemson players seem fine with all this, if for no other reason than it’s hilarious.
I mean you’re not just gonna NOT eat the Big Macs stacked in a pile right? https://t.co/nsWC0ptCvi— Matt Bockhorst (@MattBockhorst) January 15, 2019
Eating a room temp sandwich from a still-moist cardboard box is regular college behavior, but getting to do so on the most powerful government’s top china?
You are now eating one of the funniest meals in human history.
What a moment.
the best part is they broke out the good plates for these extra value meals. they're gonna be drinking coke out of goblets. this is a story those young men will tell forever.— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) January 15, 2019
7. Many have compared Trump’s spread to the meal in Talladega Nights ...
... but here, it’s important we note the reference to a different Ferrell-Reilly scene. Putting a lukewarm Big Mac on one of the world’s most prestigious plates is wearing a tuxedo to a job interview in some dude’s closet.
8. The whole scene does feel like it’s nearing a metaphor on the NCAA piling up billions while only allowing the talent to partake in things like book money and bowl game gifts, but I’ll spare you that at the moment.
9. Anyway, let’s just be glad he didn’t force anyone to eat KFC.
Even an age as cruel as this one has its mercies.