There’s no free lunch — or breakfast or dinner — for President Barack Obama on Thanksgiving day. Or any other day for that matter.
He has to dig into his pocket to pay for his holiday feast of turkey, ham, two kinds of stuffing, sweet and regular potatoes, and six different kinds of pie. It’s a longstanding practice that presidents pay for meals for themselves, their families and personal guests.
Obama also pays for other basics — everything from toothpaste to dry-cleaning.
Gary Walters, who was chief White House usher for many years, says the payment rule dates to 1800 when the White House was first occupied by President John Adams and there was no staff. Presidents brought staff with them and paid for everything.