“I won’t vote for any beanpole guy[!]” – Anonymous Clinton Supporter, Wall Street Journal
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.
- Obama is 10 pounds below the average weight for Americans of his height (McCain’s weight is slightly above average).
- 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.” [*]
- 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. [*]
- 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?
- 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.