Consider President Barack Obama’s meal deal Wednesday at a private dinner for three in the backroom confines of the popular Chicago Cut steakhouse:
◆ The president will drink only water brought into the restaurant by his staff.
◆ The president’s food can be cooked and served only by a naval steward.
◆ The president’s menu, which will consist of USDA prime filet mignon or Chilean sea bass with a miso glaze, will be brought in by the naval steward — “unless the restaurant’s produce is pre-approved at some mysterious time before the dinner,” said a top Sneed source.
◆ Sneed is told Obama’s special dinner mates are two former top White House aides: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, who are expected to opt for the fish. Obama loves steak.
The dinner a la secret with Axelrod and Emanuel, which is set to begin at 5:45 p.m. and end at 6:15 p.m. — is prefaced at 4:45 p.m. by a $32,400-a-ticket Democratic National Committee cocktail party for 25 donors at Chicago Cut tossed by Mesirow Financial’s Richard Price.
After dinner with Emanuel and Axelrod, Obama heads to a $10,000-a-ticket DNC dinner fundraiser for 55 people at the Lincoln Park home of major Obama donors Craig Freedman and Grace Tsao-Wu.
◆ Sneed is told the Secret Service was not happy with the confluence of water and road location at the Chicago River eatery, so extra details of agents have been assigned to the event.
◆ Only American wine is permitted to be served.
Pew news . . .
Sneed bets the name of Atlanta’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who hails from Chicago’s South Side, is being erased from a papal punter’s list of possible replacements for ailing Chicago Cardinal Francis George.
◆ Translation: Gregory is in hot holy water.
◆ Explanation: Gregory apologized Monday following criticism from his flock for building a $2.2 million mansion for himself — in direct contrast to austerity principles set by Pope Francis.
◆ Stats: Gregory recently moved into a nearly 6,400-square-foot mansion paid for with money from a large donation to the archdiocese.
◆ Quoth Gregory, who said he would move if asked, on the archdiocesan newspaper’s website:
“I failed to consider the impact on the families throughout the Archdiocese who, though struggling to pay their mortgages, utilities, tuition and other bills, faithfully respond year after year to my pleas to assist with funding our ministries and services,” he added.
“What we didn’t stop to consider, and that oversight rests with me and me alone, was that the world and the Church have changed,” Gregory said.
Scoop No. 1 . . .
Watch for Aldermen Ed Burke (14th) and Will Burns (4th) to introduce an ordinance Wednesday regulating the sale of liquid nicotine in refillable e-cigarettes, “which is so terribly toxic, it could kill a child if accidentally ingested in small amounts,” Burke told Sneed.
◆ Toxic shot: Burke, who wants to cap the level of nicotine and place refillable nicotine packages in childproof containers, is citing a letter just sent to President Obama by the American Academy of Pediatrics detailing the dangers.
Scoop No. 2 . . .
Watch for Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) to offer an amendment to the city code criminalizing cellphone “up-skirting,” making it a crime to photograph women unwittingly under their clothes. Good going and no kidding.
Sneedlings . . .
Kudos to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s departing press secretary Kristen Mack, a loss for her old boss — whose office has seen a lot of turnover lately. Sneed is told Dr. Ram Raju, departing Cook County Hospitals CEO, was in the process of recruiting Mack as Cook County’s Health and Hospital System media maven, while he was being wooed back to New York. Hmmm. Let’s see who is the next to leave Preckwinkle’s office . . . Wednesday’s birthdays: Emmylou Harris, 67; Michael Fassbender, 37, and Christopher Meloni, 53.