As part of our continuing Electoral Politics Geek Fest 2008, we recently became rather curious about what the candidates themselves like to eat. Surprisingly, it was a little tricky to find information on the favorite foods of most of the candidates. The New York Times ran a great piece back in November about the difficulties of maintaining a healthy diet on the campaign trail. From this article, we learned that, to put it in tabloid-speak: “Candidates: They’re just like US!” Mitt Romney eats the same thing for breakfast every morning (we do too!). Mike Huckabee sees food everywhere he looks (at a metal factory, he remarked that a piece of equipment looked like it would be a good grill for some rib-eye steaks)! Rudy Giuliani steals food from other people’s plates! Most endearingly, the article recounts a story of John McCain surveying a table full of snacks and wistfully remarking “I’d love some spaghetti.” We have the same thought every day. We certainly never expected to feel this sort of kinship with Republicans! (Also just like us? Bill Clinton who, according to the Washington Post’s obligatory New Hampshire diner article, came into the Merrimack Restaurant in Manchester and “said, ‘well I’m on a diet,’ ” reports Maria. “Then he ordered the chicken fingers and onion rings.”“.)
This was all very intriguing, but we still wanted to know more, much more, about the candidates’ eating habits. Mike Huckabee, of course, famously lost 110 pounds during his time as the governor of Arkansas and even wrote a book about his weight loss called Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork: A 12-Stop Program to End Bad Habits and Begin a Healthy Lifestyle. A quick look at an excerpt reveals that Huckabee is not only a presidential hopeful but also an aspiring vaudevillian: “I went to my doctor, and the diagnosis was fairly simple: ‘You’re fat.’ Thinking that a bit blunt, I responded, ‘Maybe I need a second opinion.’ To which he replied, ‘Okay, you’re ugly too.’” Ba dum DUM! He’ll be in South Carolina all week, folks! Try the fish sticks!
As entertaining as his book may be, Hucakbee is, sadly, the only candidate so upfront about his eating habits. Discouraged, we turned to our perennial last resort: MySpace. We learned plenty of things while browsing the candidates’ MySpace pages (several have Twitter blogs!), but sadly, we could only find a few pieces of food-related information. Hillary Clinton helpfully reveals that her worst habit is chocolate and that while she’s a “lousy cook”, she makes “pretty good soft scrambled eggs.” We wonder if she uses the same whisking method we do! Clinton also mentions that the item that reminds her most of where she came from are the olive burgers from The Pickwick in Chicago. Ron Paul doesn’t talk much about food per se, but he does reveal that he enjoys gardening and tending to his tomato plants, which is sort of adorable. We remain infinitely curious about the favorite foods of other candidates, so if you have any information on the subject, please do let us know.