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Opinion: Obama orders ice cream--and gets a plea too

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Barack Obama made an unscheduled stop on his campaign bus tour of Iowa the other day. Even a presidential candidate needs an ice cream cone of an afternoon.

Obama got the ice cream cone in a dairy bar in Wapello. But he also got a little more than he bargained for. After ordering around $20 worth of snacks--mostly ice cream and onion rings--for his campaign group, Obama got to talking with the counter waitress, Angela Dossett, who had some non-edible pressing concerns.

Turns out, she’s the widow of a Marine killed in Iraq three years ago. She’s afraid she’ll lose all her survivor benefits if she makes more money or remarries and moves on with her life. ‘I can’t move on,’ she said. ‘If I do I lose’’ medical and other benefits.

Obama, who is a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, made a note of her concerns. Afterwards, she said Obama was the first presidential candidate to stop by the small diner. Now she is favorably disposed toward him. ‘He’s really a nice guy,’' Dossett told The Times’ Janet Hook.

Obama could have gotten away without paying the check. As the candidate was about to leave, one employee told him that the diner owner, who shyly stayed in the back kitchen, would spare him the bill if he just left an autograph. But the senator had already paid.

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Obama chose vanilla, by the way.

--Andrew Malcolm


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