The PJ Tatler

Obama Shops at the Gap, Employee Says 'He's Better Looking in Person'

On a double-fundraising swing through New York City today to help the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, President Obama stopped to shop at the Gap.


It’s not because Obama had a burning need to pick up some khakis — the president wanted to pay back the company for raising its minimum wage to $10 per hour by 2015, prompting Obama to use the corporation as an example in his push for an increase in the federal minimum wage.

Obama told an employee at the East 42nd and Third Avenue store that he was shopping for Michelle and his daughters. More from the White House pool report:

Eventually, Obama and the sales associate delved into sweaters in a rainbow of colors, holding up each choice and assessing what his daughters might like. The employee recommended a V-neck sweater, but the president gravitated toward the slightly more modest round-neck options, saying, “I’m worried the V-neck is going to slip.” Eventually, he settled on a gray and white striped sweater and a bright coral sweater for his daughters.

The sales associate suggested that perhaps the first lady might like a hoodie, but the president said she seldom wears hoodies. He said she would like athletic gear and quickly picked out a blue workout jacket.

“I think the ladies will be impressed by my style sense,” Obama said.

“Who’s going to ring me up?” he asked as he approached the counter.

A longtime Gap [employee] named Sonia volunteered, saying, “He’s better looking in person.”

Although the employees tried to sell Obama on signing up for a Gap card — which would have made him eligible for a discount — the president declined. “I’ve got one card,” he said as he presented his credit card.

Obama said he doesn’t always carry his wallet but made sure to bring it for this excursion. When Sonya told him that he could swipe his own card on the countertop card reader, Obama quipped, “Oh wow. So, you can sign the machine?” As the reporters in the pool started scribbling, he said he was teasing, adding, “They had these around the last time I shopped.”


After posing for pictures with employees and making a pitch for the minimum wage, Obama proceeded to a closed-press DNC fundraiser at a private home where 25 donors paid up to $32,400 to attend.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member