- The Washington Times
Sunday, August 18, 2019

The deep-fried Oreos, the funnel cakes, the pork chops on a stick: The news media covers what presidential hopefuls eat on the campaign trail as much as their policy statements. Maybe more. It is a very telling moment when a candidate addresses a corn dog live on camera; to emerge unscathed is definitely part of the contemporary political skill set.

Eating before the voting public is a trial by fryer, and the act has become a topic of serious journalism.


“This is not a polite endeavor. But it is one where politicians who purport to represent the people show that they can really be like us,” noted an NBC News analysis.

A close examination by NBC, Elle magazine and other news organizations revealed what each Democratic candidate chose to consume during their recent appearances at the Iowa State Fair, ground zero for fried things.

Sen. Bernard Sanders braved the notorious corn dog, as did Sen. Elizabeth Warren, while Sens. Kamala D. Harris and Kirsten E. Gillibrand each enjoyed a pork chop. Sen. Cory A. Booker chose a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while Sen. Amy Klobuchar met the public with a paper container of cheese curds.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, however, garnered the most attention.

“Crushes of cameramen, supporters, and operatives mobbed front-runners like Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders, who maybe managed to wolf down a bite or two of a corn dog or pork chop before ducking out of the scrum,” reports Eater.com, a food blog.

“Mayor Pete’s excellent Iowa State Fair adventure: In the span of four hours, Pete Buttigieg put down a root beer float, a pork chop on a stick, a fried bacon ball BLT, fried Oreos, and more — then washed it all down with chocolate milk,” the blog noted.

The “more” included a red, white and blue Slushie, plus a local favorite.

“Buttigieg picked up the fair’s iconic Gizmo sandwich, which is made with Italian sausage, tomato sauce, and melted mozzarella cheese. A staffer tucked it away for dinner,” Eater.com said.

“I don’t know the history. I just know it’s something I shouldn’t be eating on camera,” Mr. Buttigieg told the publication.

DEEP-FRIED REPORT

Once again, the nation’s state fairs have outdone themselves in producing an amazing array of deep-fried fare, served up with flair on midways and promenades. And now, a very brief sample of what’s out there this week:

Iowa State Fair: Deep-fried deviled eggs, Navajo fry bread barbecue pocket, deep-fried pecan pie on a stick with bacon bits, cookie dough in a waffle on a stick.

Minnesota State Fair: Cheesy Sriracha funnel cake bites, deep-fried potato skins stuffed with scrambled eggs and peppers, deep-fried duck wings with tequila lime sauce, shrimp and grits fritters.

Texas State Fair: Southern-fried chicken fettuccine Alfredo ball, Texas cream corn casserole fritters, deep-fried bayou fruit bites, Fernie’s fried smoked burnt end burrito, fried beer.

Indiana State Fair: Bison hush puppies, duck fat-fried potatoes with cheese curds and gravy, mac-and-cheese-stuffed fried egg roll with barbecued turkey, deep-fried mashed potato ball filled with seasoned ground beef.

Florida State Fair: Deep-fried quarter pound of mozzarella cheese on a stick, red beans and rice funnel cake with smoked sausage, deep-fried scallops and angel hair pasta with lobster sauce on a stick, pork rind nachos with jalapenos.

Alaska State Fair: Batter-fried cheese curds, flash-fried catfish with red beans, deep-fried halibut chunks, fried peaches, sourdough corn fritters with honey butter.

TRUMP’S STEEL-CLAD LANGUAGE

It does not appear that President Trump will back away from his trademark use of vigorous language anytime soon.

“American patriots like you will decide if we’ll keep America great, or if the Democrat-infested swamp will turn this country into a big government socialist nation. I am committed to crushing the left in 2020, just like I did in 2016,” the president notes in a new outreach to his fans.

It includes a 12-question poll, continuing Mr. Trump’s longstanding habit of conducting his own public opinion polls — a practice imitated by all of his Democratic rivals.

And a few sample questions:

Do you believe President Trump should close the southern border by finishing the wall?

Do you agree that illegal aliens, that have been convicted of crimes on U.S. soil, should not be allowed to vote in U.S. elections?

Do you agree that Democrats’ plan to legalize infanticide is disgusting and should be outlawed?

“The future of the nation is in your hands,” Mr. Trump advises respondents.

FOXIFIED

Fox News has ruled cable news for more than 17 consecutive years, consistently besting rivals MSNBC and CNN in the ratings race. The network does the same online.

Fox News Digital finished the month of July setting a record with its highest month ever from its spectrum of multiplatform online offerings — that would be 1.9 billion views, a 23% increase from last year, according to Comscore, an industry source.

Fox News has been No. 1 in the overall news realm, in total Facebook interactions for 59 consecutive months and No. 1 in total Instagram interactions for 39 consecutive months.

“Our simple strategy of delivering great journalism is working. Every day, our team is relentlessly focused on our audience and we strive to create content that interests them, whether it’s breaking news or human interest stories,” says Porter Berry, Fox News digital editor-in-chief.

POLL DU JOUR

78% of Democratic voters say they strongly seek a presidential candidate “who will fight for people like me.”

66% say they strongly seek a candidate who “will make major policy changes.”

48% say they strongly seek a candidate who “is similar to President Obama.”

37% say they strongly seek a candidate who “I would get along with.”

20% say they strongly seek a candidate “who they could have a beer with.”

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 701 registered Democratic voters conducted Aug. 9-11.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com


Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.