Obama tries ‘hoagie diplomacy' with Congressional leaders

President Barack Obama on Wednesday took a novel approach to courting Congressional leaders due at the White House for lunch — he got take out.

Obama made the brief trek from the White House to a nearby  Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop where he held a roundtable with small business owners, which included Taylor Gourmet co-owners Casey Patten and David Mazza. He then headed back to the presidential mansion with an armload of sandwiches.

"My message to Congress -- and I'm going to have a chance to see the congressional leadership when I get back to the White House; I'm going to offer them some hoagies while they're there -- is 'let's go ahead and act to help build and sustain momentum for our economy,'" Obama said at the shop.

"There will be more than enough time for us to campaign and politick, but let's make sure that we don't lose steam at a time when a lot of folks like these are feeling pretty optimistic and are ready to go," the president said.

Obama paid cash -- $62.70, according to a photograph of his receipt — for the lunch. The president ordered a 12-inch "Spruce Street Hoagie," which has roast turkey, prosciutto, roasted red peppers and sharp provolone. But neither a Taylor employee nor a White House aide could say what he picked up for his guests — Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The president's policy proposals for steadying the still-weak economy haven't received much of a welcome from Congressional Republicans, but his choice of sandwich shop added a little bipartisan air to Washington.

"I stand with the President in favor of Taylor Gourmet," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said on Twitter.

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