DURHAM, N.C. — Barack Obama dropped in on a busy coffee shop in downtown Durham, N.C., on Monday and bought 15 slices of cake, announcing to those crowding around him, "I'm treating you."
The bill for 15 slices _ six of vanilla pound cake, seven of lemon pound cake and two red velvet _ came to $26.95. "Oh, I can handle that," he said, "You guys are a cheap date." The Democratic presidential candidate handed out plates to patrons and several reporters after paying the bill with cash. He stuffed a $10 bill in the tip cup.
"Can I sit down and have my cake?" he asked, then sat at a table in the Blue Coffee Cafe, munching on a piece of pound cake and chatting with others he'd invited to join him. He ate about half the slice before giving it up to sign autographs full time.
One admirer praised Obama's basketball skills.
"I'm all right," said the Illinois senator, adding with a grin, "We're going to build a basketball court in the White House."
By Tom Raum