WashingtonPost.com

“I won’t vote for any beanpole guy[!]” – Anonymous Clinton Supporter, Wall Street Journal

“Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o’ nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.” –

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II

Is Barack Obama too thin to be trusted or related to by ordinary Americans?  Do you choose who you will vote for based on their food and exercise choices?  Would Wm. Howard Taft or Abraham Lincoln have a chance of being elected today in our image conscious world- the former would be too fat and the latter too tall and lanky.  In a rather disappointing and humorous article the Wall Street Journal has fun pointing out the role food choices have played in presidential elections.  One of my favorite stories from the article focuses around John Kerry at the Iowa State Fair.

Robert Gibbs served as Sen. Kerry’s press secretary during the cheesesteak debacle. A few days later at the Iowa State Fair, famous for its deep-fried Twinkies and beer booths, Mr. Gibbs noticed Sen. Kerry buying a $4 strawberry smoothie. He made a frantic call to campaign staffers: “Somebody get a f-ing corn dog in his hand — now!” – WSJ

That last line would make a great T-shirt!

Things don’t get better.  If you want to think about an uncomfortable moment, just imagine being in the room during the following exchange:

“Sen. Obama drew cringes on a campaign stop in Adel, Iowa, in July 2007, when he asked a crowd of farmers: “Anybody gone into a Whole Foods lately and seen what they charge for arugula?” The upscale supermarket specializing in organic food doesn’t have a single store in Iowa.” [*]

Whoops.  I do have a large amount of sympathy for Obama, that must have felt really awkward.

The article presents a litany of things about Obama that further the image in some quarters of Barack Obama as out of touch or unable to relate to ordinary Americans.  Here is a brief and slimmed down version of that list.

  1. Obama is 10 pounds below the average weight for Americans of his height (McCain’s weight is slightly above average).
  2. Obama doesn’t like Ice Cream according to his daughter- her exact words,  “Everybody should like ice cream.”  Moreover, while his wife and daughters enjoyed ice cream sundaes at a campaign stop in Milwaukie, Ore., “Sen. Obama grinned for the cameras and swirled a spoon around in his quickly melting ice-cream concoction, taking only a few nibbles.” [*]
  3. Forget that his name sounds funny and by the way he is black (did you miss that?) he eats funny sounding foods like “MET-Rx chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and drinks Black Forest Berry Honest Tea, a healthy organic brew.”  He also shops at ritzy grocery stores like Whole Foods- ever seen what they charge there?  I mean, or so I’ve been told.  [*]
  4. He exercises way too much.  On a single day in Chicago a month ago Obama spent over 188 minutes in three different gyms.  Did that include shower and changing times?
  5. He quits smoking and doesn’t gain weight, he must be a cyborg of some kind.  “‘I mean, really, who quits smoking and doesn’t gain any weight?’ says 30-year-old Stella Metsovas, an Obama supporter in Laguna Beach, Calif.” [*]

By now you should be able to tell that I find this all rather amusing.  I also find it rather disappointing that food choices play such a role in decisions of voters.  Gosh, I disagree with this guy on enough stuff politically, I don’t care if he spends 3 hours in the gym, eats MET-Rx bars, or refused to indulge in ice cream.  Come on now folks, let’s show some concern about the issues, and leave the silly stuff aside.

By the way, here are a few tidbits from the article you might have missed during this and previous campaigns.

  • Senator Clinton used Weight Watchers during the primaries to keep the pounds from piling on.
  • Some political analysts believe that the footage of an overweight Bill Clinton jogging into a McDonald’s (lampooned on SNL) may have helped him connect with Conservative voters in Georgia and Tennessee.
  • “On a 1976 visit to Texas, Gerald Ford bit into a tamale with the corn husk still on.”  [*]
  • “In 2003, Mass. Sen. John Kerry was labeled effete when he ordered a Philly cheesesteak with Swiss instead of the usual Cheez Whiz topping.” [*]

All of this sounds like a good reason NOT to run for President of the United States.

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Comments
  1. Seriously! Why would you want your president to be less fit than yourself? He’s runs the country…I want someone who’s healthy and takes care of theirselves to be in the grande casa blanco. Call me crazy.

  2. Teresa says:

    I think the article says more about “beltway steriotypes” than rural conservative voters.

    I happen to know a couple of older, conservative, rural couples who planted Arugala in their gardens ’cause they couldn’t get it at the local stores.

    Its not that rural, conservative people don’t WANT arugala…it’s that the economic margins in rural areas make it unavailable.to them for purchase, at any price.

    They have to get the seeds from seed catalogs and plant it themselves.

  3. Wild, isn’t it. The article seems to suggest that the public is more favorable towards those who lose weight to reach a more “average” body composition than they are toward those who are in some way “too fit.” At least when it comes to politics.

  4. “They have to get the seeds from seed catalogs and plant it themselves.”

    I’ve never eaten the stuff. Although I am sure I’ve probably seen it on the local Walmart’s shelf. Needless to say I bet they aren’t traveling out of state to shop at a Whole Foods store. Which, by the way, I love. They are just a bit too pricey for my budget.

  5. Teresa says:

    Here in Minnesota, most liberal types avoid Whole Foods whenever possible, since they have what many liberals consider to be questionable business practices.

    They prefer local co-ops and local chains. Although they willl go to Whoel Foods for things they can’t get anywhere else. (you can only carry so much in your bike basket at a time anyway. )

    Which leads to an observation. I have found that riding bike to the grocery store leads to fewer unhealthy choices.

    When you can only carry what fits in your back-pack, you have fewer impulse purchases. Now, that only happens on our monthly trip to Cost-Co. 🙂

  6. Really, I didn’t know those on the left weren’t entirely enamored with Whole Foods.

    As far as the bike riding for groceries idea. It sounds good for those who live close to the store. I would hate to try and balance groceries on my bike as I peddled over 7 miles to the nearest store.

  7. Judy says:

    A thin man can be puppeted more easily…there is much less resistance on the strings.

    Without my faith in God’s promises I’d be scared to death of what the future holds. It astounds me how many so-called freedom-loving Americans are completely snowed by Obama H. and how readily they are willing to hand over their freedoms to one with no love for what made America free in the first place. If only they had eyes to see…

    just one more bitter American who clings to my faith…and guns.

  8. Sagan says:

    Definitely is silliness. Oh the judgment in our world.

  9. Teresa says:

    TT,

    Our nearest store is about a mile and a half away, but I rarely go there, because it has a terrible mark-up, and you are far too likely to get creamed by a bleach-blond trophy wife whose too busy talking on her cell phone to watch where she’s pointing her banana-yellow Hummer.

    Why , yes, I am referring to a specific incident, why do you ask? 😉

    I usually ride about five miles to the next nearest store, a Rainbow foods. I carry a backpack, and only get a few things that you cant buy in bulk at CostCo. (when i drive a car)

    The other day we rode six miles to Target to buy school supplies. Each of my kids had a back-pack. It worked out fine.

    I used to use a bike trailer that I had bought used at a garage sale…but it finally gave up the ghost and could not be repaired. That worked pretty well. I could get four bags of groceries in that thing.

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