The New York Times ran a story last month about President Obama's late-night habits. We learned he calls himself a "night guy," rarely sleeps more than five hours per night, and likes to work late in the Treaty Room while ESPN plays silently on the television. But what most captured the public's attention was this tidbit about Obama's snacking habits: The story said that the President eats exactly seven lightly salted almonds each night.
Not six. Not eight. Seven. The information allegedly came from Sam Kass, the Obamas' personal chef.
The media gobbled up the story and the Twitterverse was abuzz.
But yesterday, in an interview with Savannah Guthrie of NBC, Obama corrected the record. He said, "This is an example of the weird way that the press works." And now the Times has also set the record straight.
Turns out Obama admitted he is disciplined in his eating habits, but not to the point of counting out seven lightly salted almonds as a nightly snack. Instead, he said, the almond story started as a joke between his wife and their personal chef.
The President explained: "Michelle and Sam Kass, who was our chef here, one night they were talking about me and teasing me about how disciplined I was, that I didn't have potato chips or I didn't have a piece of cake. And this is when Michelle said: 'Yes, and he just has seven almonds. That's it,' to really drive home the point that I needed to loosen up a little bit."
Kass later told the joke to and that was it: "Somehow it was relayed as if I was counting out the seven almonds," the President said.
So we can all calm down about Obama's paltry snack of seven carefully enumerated almonds. Would he eat more almonds than seven, if given the chance, the President was asked? "Absolutely," POTUS responded.
Relieved that he had the opportunity to set the record straight, Obama said, "You know, almonds are a good snack; I strongly recommend them."
But potato chips and cake? He's still not eating them.