Remember learning that President G. W. Bush, VP Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice were told they were exposed to botulinum toxin in Shanghai? According to Rice, they were all told they would die after facial muscles were paralyzed, then spreading to lower limbs and finally respiratory failure. It took an intense 24 hours to learn that the mice used to test whatever the White House “detectors” thought a threat, came through the event with “feet down.” What we didn’t learn is how the toxin became a threat, but presumably it would be through inhalation. Yesterday, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) hosted a GOP lunch with Obama as guest. She featured healthy products from Maine (seeking Michelle’s approval), such as fresh lobster salad and ice cream with blueberries from Maine producers. Obama wouldn’t touch a bite, and whether he told her directly it was due to not having his food tasters on GOP grounds, she doesn’t say, although she made the point to him that everyone in the room was eating, and they would all die if the food were poisoned. Music to Obama’s ears. Maybe he knew something about the food she didn’t know. See a few ideas on how Obama’s ice cream is tasted below and hear Senator Collin’s remarks in the video.
I think of all the ice cream stops for BO and MO. Poison doesn’t kill immediately. Is a taster showing up on Martha’s Vineyard, finding an ice cream shop that will let him in the door for a photo op, then picking a vat of ice cream, tasting it, then putting it into some kind of a secured freezer with round-the clock security until the First Couple shows up, when the secured ice cream is returned for public view and scooping, yet guarded for the official presidential lick? Is that how it works?
Trying to find which presidents use food tasters didn’t come up with much. Apparently it’s one of those presidential things no one is willing to talk about. I did find 2 2008 article saying President G. H. W. Bush ate out in Washington, D.C. often and always toted his own condiments, and sometimes the glassware, plates, and flatware were specially washed. Bill Clinton was said to have inconsistent tasters, but often his handlers hovered as chefs served up a dish. G. W. Bush’s food protection may have been ramped up after 9/11/01.
The presidential food safety team’s responsibilities go well beyond packing up a squeeze bottle of Horsey Sauce if the POTUS indicates that he’s thinking Arby’s. In his 2005 book Standing Next to History, former Secret Service agent Joseph Petro — who spent 23 years in the suit and shades — writes, “In principle nothing edible gets near the President unless we know where it comes from and who has handled it.” When the president digs in at a state banquet, Petro informs us, he’s eating basically the same stuff as everyone else in the room, but his helping has been prepared specially by White House stewards, who suit up to match the other servers at the event and carry his plate out themselves. For events in foreign countries, it’s the same thing but more so. Petro writes: “Stewards find out what’s being served at the banquet and bring the ingredients with them from the United States.” Source: The Straight Dope
If Obama regularly uses a food taster, you can be sure Michelle has the same perk…and needs it. Reaganite Republican has more on menu details. Details on the Rice story and botulinum toxin here.
If the video disappears or does not play, view it here.
Senator Susan Collin’s – Obama didn’t taste a bite (video)