President Obama Stops in Atlanta for The Varsity Hot Dogs (and a Fundraiser)
On Tuesday, June 26, President Barack Obama made his second stop in Atlanta this year to meet with donors and attend fundraisers for his re-election effort. Air Force One touched down with the POTUS at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and was greeted by a delegation led by Mayor Kasim Reed on the tarmac.
The group had their priorities in order, heading straight for The Varsity. About 30 unsuspecting patrons were dining in the restaurant. Even the Varsity’s manager was surprised, saying, “We had no idea he would be here until 10 minutes ago,” he said.
President Obama reportedly told the media, “I’m excited to get a hot dog. I hear they’re really good here.” True to his word, the president stepped up to the counter and ordered five chili dogs, four naked dogs and one hamburger; presumably for his entourage.
The group then departed for the Westin Peachtree Plaza, where Obama met with about 20 supporters for a private roundtable discussion. At the same time, a host of local leaders were revving up the crowd and extolling the virtues of the president’s leadership, including Reverend Joseph Lowery and Mayor Reed.
At about 1:15 p.m., Obama took the stage, speaking for nearly a half hour – mostly about the economy – to more than 500 well-dressed supporters.
“In this election, all of you have an opportunity to choose between two fundamentally different visions of how you grow America. Two fundamentally different visions about who we are as a people and what makes this nation great,” Obama said.
Tickets for the reception were listed at $500, with a limited number of Generation 44 tickets priced at $250 (Gen44 is the Obama campaign’s official under-40 fundraising program). Tickets for the private roundtable went for $35,000.
Hopping back aboard Air Force One around 3 p.m., President Obama departed for Miami and another fundraiser.