Bipartisan book buyer?

After his speech on health care in Iowa, President Obama stopped at a bookstore.  – an independent bookstore, Prairie Lights to browse and pick on some books for the kids.

I love this picture of the President holding books by Karl Rove and Mitt Romney taken by Doug Mills of the New York Times.

President Obama with books by Mitt Romney and Karl Rove.

The accompanying story in the Times by Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports some very amusing dialogue between Robert Gibbs and the President.  Here are some exerpts.  (This is based in part on reporting by the pool reporter.)

A few minutes later POTUS stepped up to the cash register with two books in his hands: “Journey to the River Sea” by Eva Ibbotson and “The Secret of Zoom” by Lynne Jonell for his daughters.

Obama pulled out five $20 bills to pay for the two books. Your pooler couldn’t hear the exact price but the two books didn’t cost that much.

Obama also bought a book for Gibbs, who was holding a large Star Wars pop-up book for his six-year-old son, Ethan.

“It’s a little expensive, sir,” Gibbs said to his boss as he handed it over.

POTUS showed the book to pool as the cashier rang it up for $37.44.

“I can handle it,” Obama said as Gibbs suggested he pay. “It’s for keeping his dad away for too many hours a day.”

“I need more books than that, sir,” Gibbs remarked.

Then after he left Prairie Lights

Nothing for Mrs. Obama?” Bloomberg’s Ed Chen asked.Obama paused to think for a second. “Thanks for getting me in trouble,” he replied.

We know that Obama used to visit a neighborhood bookstore in Chicago often.  I’m glad to see he still likes bookstores as they are among my favorite places.  And I never heard of another President who carried cash.  Obama buys shave ice in Hawaii, burgers in D.C. and now books in Iowa.  I also wonder how many copies of the books he bought will now be sold.  I know I will look into them for the grands.  Can we get the Obama girls to write some reviews?