Obama Is A Costco Fan. Here's How We Know

It's hard not to geek out when you learn about a celebrity or beloved famous person that turns out to be a huge fan of a cult-favorite chain. It almost seems to normalize them because it means they like and shop at the same places the rest of mere mortals do, too. Apparently, former president Barack Obama falls into the wide category of Costco aficionados. According to Business Insider, Obama visited various Costcos multiple times and often spoke of the company's fair wages. 

"Profitable corporations like Costco see higher wages as the smart way to boost productivity and reduce turnover. We should too," the former president said, per MSNBC. "Costco's commitment to fairness doesn't stop at the checkout counter; it extends down the supply chain, including to many of the farmworkers who grow the product—the produce that you sell."

To put that into perspective, during Obama's presidency Costco paid employees around $21 an hour, granted health benefits, and allowed some unions, according to Market Watch. Walmart, on the other hand, paid less than $13 an hour, dissolved most unions, and offers fewer health benefits. Based on that information alone, it's clear why Obama would be a big fan of Costco.

Barack Obama's love for Costco might be a bit more complicated

Obama's affinity for Costco was also widely criticized because of the support the executives of Costco gave him during both of his presidential campaigns, per MSNBC. Costco founder, Jim Sinegal, was a major supporter of both increasing the minimum wage and Obamacare (via Washington Examiner). Though critics would say this was to drive the smaller competitors away, there are clearly tons of workers who want better pay and help with healthcare.

Debates of political ideology aside, there's also the significant donations Sinegal made to the campaigns. Sinegal donated the maximum amount he could through various channels. That included $35,800 for the Obama Victory Fund, another $35,800 at a dinner fundraiser, $43,500 to the DNC, plus $2,300 directly to Obama's campaign. There was also $100,000 given to a SuperPAC backing Obama. All of those donations would certainly be enough to make anyone like a company.

Take it as you will. Whether Obama can't resist a good deal from a company that pays employees more than most or simply favors the company for their support of his political career, is your call. Either way, everyone definitely saw him frequent the stores on more than one occasion.