WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama did not order mayonnaise with his corned beef, the White House told a blogger who had written a mistaken report on the sandwich.
The supposed faux pas — ordering "goyish" mayo with smoked meat — was originally reported last week by the Miami New Times in coverage of Obama’s visit to Miami to campaign for U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) in his bid for the U.S. Senate. It was picked up by Save the Deli, a blog written by David Sax who has published a book of the same name decrying the corporatization of delis.
"The President of the United States made that cardinal sin of all American politician," Sax wrote in an entry headlined, "Oy, Obama." "He ordered his corned beef sandwich with mayonaise. Oy."
Someone in the White House — Sax won’t say who, but he’s friendly with David Axelrod, Obama’s Jewish political adviser — emailed him to correct the misimpression. The sandwich the president ordered at Jerry’s Famous Deli was corned beef was with mustard; he ordered the one with mayo for Meek.
"Fear not! I was also horrified when I first learned about this, and checked, turns out it was actually Kendrick Meek who ordered corned beef with mayo," the White House official told Sax. "The president ordered his with mustard (Axelrod’s influence, no doubt!). The confusion happened because technically the president ordered both, since he paid."
Sax said allowing Meek to order his sandwich with mayo was nonetheless a "minor sin" of leadership, but added: "My presumption blew mayogate way out of proportion."
Sax and the New Times nonetheless chided Obama for saying his business at the deli would help small businesses. They note that in his book Sax singles out Jerry’s Famous Deli for buying out smaller delis in the Miami area and corporatizing the product.