President Obama gets takeout on the Vineyard; Secret Service tracks a pet goat

Tom Ashe, at the Chilmark General Store Tuesday, said his pet goat, Raisin, amused Secret Service on a morning walk.
Tom Ashe, at the Chilmark General Store Tuesday, said his pet goat, Raisin, amused Secret Service on a morning walk.Credit: Peter Simon

Heavy rains and a healthy appetite prompted President Obama to forgo golf Tuesday in favor of a feast of fried food, pickup basketball, and some down time with first lady Michelle Obama.

The president, who’d spent scant time away from the golf course for the first two days of his Martha’s Vineyard vacation, departed his Chilmark rental in a heavy rain and arrived at Nancy’s Restaurant in Oak Bluffs just before 1 p.m. Looking not a bit out of place in a blue fleece, Chicago White Sox cap, and a pair of Nikes, Obama was greeted with enthusiastic cheers as his motorcade pulled up. He said hello to about 40 people gathered on the deck of the waterfront restaurant, including owner Joseph Moujabber, manager Doug Abdelnour, and other employees at the takeout window.

“Good to see you, man. Thanks for feeding us,” the president told a young server working the counter inside.

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The commander in chief took his tasty, if not terribly healthy, order of fried shrimp, fried oysters, onion rings, and french fries to the Seaview Avenue home of senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

An hour later, he was off, this time heading to nearby Oak Bluffs School to shoot hoops with Eric Whitaker, a friend from Chicago, “chief of stuff” Marvin Nicholson, White House chef Sam Kass, and a few others.

In the days leading up to the first family’s arrival, there had been a lot of grumbling about the Secret Service’s decision to close South Road, a well-traveled route near where the president is staying. But neighbors seem to be adjusting.

Tuesday morning, Tom Ashe, a prominent developer whose daughter Alexi Ashe is engaged to “Saturday Night Live” star Seth Meyers, walked past the summer White House on Snail Road with his pet goat, and the Secret Service didn’t blink an eye.

In fact, we’re told the men in black were amused by the goat, which Meyers has mentioned during appearances on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” Later, we ran into Ashe and his peculiar pet, whose name is Raisin, idling on the porch at the Chilmark General Store, where Vineyard VIPs gather most days to talk about anything and everything.

As he fed the goat a handful of Cape Cod Potato Chips, Ashe said it was humorous to see the response of the Secret Service — and their highly-trained canine companions — to a goat on a leash.

“A very expensive bomb-sniffing dog became a goat-sniffing dog,” he said.

Tuesday night, the first couple dined at the Beach Plum Inn.

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