You probably think that because Barack Obama’s favorite food is arugula lettuce, the Democrats, to try to "go green" at their national convention, are going to stick to their ban of fried foods at the Denver event. Wrong!
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, a big wheel in the Democratic Party, is from South Carolina, where fried foods are haute cuisine. When he heard that convention food was going to be weird and healthy, he said he wanted fried food, and plenty of it, put back on the menu. And so, the Democratic National Committee did.
It’s still not clear who at the DNC came up with the idea that every meal served at the convention should be nutritious — no fried chicken, no fried catfish, no fried anything. Whoever it was must have decided that any Democratic candidate for president doesn’t have much chance of winning the South anyway, and so it wouldn’t make any difference if they banned the South’s favorite foods.
Although fried foods are back in, plastic plates and bottled water are still out, and the DNC has appointed a "greening director" for the convention. This is another bid to capture the politically correct environmental position.
Obama, however, is still trying to disassociate himself from arugula. He’s embracing pizza. He told a reporter that when he and his wife, Michelle, dine out in Chicago, it’s often at a little pizza joint in a mini-mall near their home.
But the other week, he walked into a pizzeria in Oregon and ordered a slice of vegetarian pizza. A compromise, no doubt, between the macho Everyman image he’s trying to convey to the voters, and the "nutrition is the new patriotism" position of the DNC.
When John McCain, who, of course, thinks that the macho position in the presidential race is his, heard that Obama was a vegetable-pizza man, he made a quick stop at a pizza parlor and ordered a slice with pepperoni.
Here, at last, may be a way for American voters to cut through all the political rhetoric and make an intelligent decision about whom to vote for. While we may not be able to fathom the depths of the gasoline crisis or have any inkling how we can get out of Iraq, we Americans can say, for sure, which man we most identify with when one eats pizza topped with pepperoni and the other asks for one only with vegetables.
When it comes to running the country, whom do you trust? The vegetable guy or the pepperoni guy?
Be warned though, if pizza consumption becomes the deciding factor for you in this election, things could get complicated. You may have to write in Hillary Clinton on your ballot next November. The New York Times reported that in just one month during the primary campaign, her campaign ran up an $11,000 pizza bill.
What chance do guys who buy pizza by the slice have against Hillary, who can spend $350 a day on pizza every day for a month?
If the pizza voters turn out in force and team up with all the disgruntled women voters who still say they’re going to write in Hillary, who knows how this election will end?
(Truman Taylor is a Massachusetts-based essayist and former TV news anchorman. Contact him at TrumanBTaylor(at)aol.com)