Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More Obama Love For Pizza Man Scott Van Duzer

Scott Van Duzer, the power-lifting Republican pizza man famous for hoisting President Obama aloft during a September visit to his Florida restaurant, got more presidential love on Tuesday morning.  After sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama at Monday night's debate at Lynn University, Van Duzer today introduced the President at his first post-debate rally at the Delray Beach Tennis Center.  The two hugged, but Van Duzer resisted the urge to pick up the President. (Above: Van Duzer introducing the Eater in Chief)

"Every time I need a pick-me-up I try to see Scott," President Obama told the crowd of about 11,000, before going on to blast his GOP challenger.  The 10:10 AM rally was the start of a three-day junket through swing states

"This guy is for real," Van Duzer said as he introduced the President.

"My business is better off than it was four years ago," he added of his Big Apple Pizza & Pasta Italian Restaurant in Fort Pierce.

Van Duzer's restaurant suffered a boycott from locals and negative reviews on Yelp.com after the President's airborne visit in September, leading to a whirlwind media tour and fifteen minutes of fame. (Above: A long shot of Van Duzer at the rally)

The President also discussed the charity-minded Van Duzer (he runs blood drives) during a visit to David Letterman's talk show in September, and also told his story at a lavish New York fundraiser hosted by Beyoncé and rap mogul husband Jay-Z.  A photo of the Presidential lift was included in an email promoting the final Dinner with Barack contest.

Van Duzer is 6'3 and weighs 260 pounds, and says he can bench press 350 pounds. The pizza man had Secret Service permission to hoist the President aloft in September, he said.

President Obama travels to Ohio on Tuesday afternoon, before returning to the White House for the first time since last Friday.

*Top photo by Helene Cooper, @HeleneCooper, The New York Times; second by Ali Weinberg, @AliNBCNews