Tips of the iceberg

Whom do you believe? NPR on the tip controversy regarding Anita Esterday, a waitress at the Maid-Rite in Toledo, Iowa:

Esterday served Clinton, chatted with her and later ended up as an example of a hard-working single mom in Clinton’s stump speech. She told NPR she’s considering voting for Clinton, but was disappointed the senator and her staff didn’t make sure she got a tip for her labor…As soon as that story aired in the 5 o’clock hour Eastern Time, it was picked up by a number of political blogs. And the Clinton campaign immediately contacted news organizations to tell its side of the story. Clinton spokesman Phil Singer wrote to NPR in an e-mail: “The campaign spent $157 and left a $100 tip at the Maid-Rite Restaurant. Wish you had checked in with us beforehand.”

Esterday said “nobody got tipped that day,” and NPR should have checked with the Clinton campaign before the story aired to see if any tip was left and how it was done. We regret that this was not done. On Thursday, Esterday was sticking by her story. “Why would I lie about not getting a tip?” she told NPR. She also maintained that her co-workers at the restaurant had not received tips.

A Clinton campaign staffer called on Esterday at the restaurant Thursday after the story aired. The staff member apologized to her and gave her a $20 bill, according to Esterday. The Clinton campaign confirmed that visit. The campaign also produced photocopies of receipts showing $157.46 was paid to Maid-Rite on a VISA card on Oct. 8 for meals consumed by the candidate’s entourage. The tip was supposed to have been paid in cash, and the campaign insisted such a payment was made but has declined to make available a staff member who was present at Maid-Rite and left tip money.

That’s quite a story. The bill was paid by credit card, but the tip — allegedly generous — was paid in cash. Hmmm. Maybe the campaign picked up that technique from Norman Hsu.


Poor Anita Esterday may not have gotten her tip, but college student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff got one, according to the Grinnell College student newspaper:

according to Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff ’10, some of the questions from the audience were planned in advance. “They were canned,” she said. Before the event began, a Clinton staff member approached Gallo-Chasanoff to ask a specific question after Clinton’s speech. “One of the senior staffers told me what [to ask],” she said. Clinton called on Gallo-Chasanoff after her speech to ask a question: what Clinton would do to stop the effects of global warming.

Clinton began her response by noting that young people often pose this question to her before delving into the benefits of her plan. But the source of the question was no coincidence — at this event “they wanted a question from a college student,” Gallo-Chasanoff said. She also noted that staffers prompted Clinton to call on her and another who had been approached before the event…

Lest you spend time pondering whether events like these are indicative of the vibe that 2009-2017 might give off, we remind you that you have been previously warned not to focus on such “trivial matters“.


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One Response to “Tips of the iceberg”

  1. staghounds Says:

    Hilary! Rodham/not Rodham Clinton stiffed a waitress early in her senate campaign, too. I suppose when one is The Smartest Woman In The World, one needn’t learn from mistakes.

    Seriously, I’m sure the money was paid and I’m equally sure someone got it. Not the waitress, though. After the New York incident, I’m confident there is a tipper on staff.

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