The rift between conservative and liberal ideology seems as wide as ever. No doubt the divide is exacerbated by the current election year, but in reality, there are a myriad of issues that keep the lines between political ideologies clearly defined and significantly distanced. In such a riven political environment, it is increasingly important to remember commonalities valued by many liberal and conservative Americans, not the least of which, is a deep-seated appreciation for beef.
Beef is no respecter of persons, its savory delight satiates via the mouth, tongue, stomach, and of course, the heart. Beef consumption is reported to be healthy for the brain, but seems to have no effect on political affiliation.
Whether you’re a democrat or a republican, you may be surprised to learn about the relationship these democratic politicians have with beef.
In 2008, Mimi Sheraton wrote a piece called “How Hungry is Hillary Clinton?”, published by Slate Magazine. The article reported Hillary’s response to Associated Press reporters a year earlier when asked what single item most recalled her back-home origins. Of all the answers she could have given, she cited the Oliveburger from the Pickquick in her hometown. The Oliveburger was described by the owner as, “six ounces of grilled ground beef sirloin on a toasted hamburger bun with a thick topping of chopped, pimento-stuffed green olives.”
By the time Hillary visited the Pickquick again in 2003, the Oliverburger had been renamed the Hillaryburger.
The Slade article, cited above, mentioned Bill Clinton’s consumption of beef during his time in office. If Pres. Clinton was on his own for dinner, he would ask the Whitehouse chef to grill him a 24 oz. porterhouse steak with béarnaise sauce, from the chef’s “secret stash of prime meat.” Bill especially enjoyed his steak with fried onion rings.
But that’s all I’m going to write about Bill’s appetite.
Time magazine contributors David Johnson and Samuel Jacobs created a pretty amazing interactive article called “The State of Obama’s Plate” summarizing Obama’s eating preferences. Reading through the list of steak houses and hamburger joints you might, if only for a moment, become distracted enough to forget about his political failures. The images of beef in this article, in all its glorious forms, are sure to excite your salivary glands.
Congresswoman Pelosi seems to celebrate her Italian – American heritage with an appreciation for good food. As recently as last December, Nancy sat down for steak and fries with Paul Ryan at a DC steakhouse called Medium Rare. Politico reported the meeting was a cordial one, with the two spending the majority of two hours just getting to know each other. That’s the uniting power of beef.
Did you hear about John Kerry’s Philly cheesesteak incident?
Well, John Kerry is a fan of beef, especially if it’s going to win him some political points. Now in Philadelphia, it’s considered a rite of passage for aspiring politicians to consume a huge Philly cheesesteak sandwich while campaigning in the area. But there are three caveats known only to the locals and savvy politicians; there are only two diners, Pat’s and Geno’s, that qualify for the rite, the sandwich has to be consumed a certain way, and it is not, under any circumstance, acceptable to order the sandwich with Swiss cheese.
Many politicians have successfully impressed the locals, with their cheesesteak consumption, but John Kerry failed miserably. He failed so miserably, in fact, there are still remnants of the fiasco kicking around the internet nearly thirteen years later.
He started out alright, by choosing to eat a cheesesteak at Pat’s, but the event went downhill as soon as he ordered the sandwich with Swiss cheese. It didn’t help when he asked the reporters not to photograph him eating the sandwich. Of course, his request was ignored and the media captured John’s biggest gaffe; he nibbled on the sandwich like a super model an hour before a photoshoot. Philadelphians have no respect for someone who doesn’t eat the sandwich like a pre-hibernation grizzly bear during the salmon run. Apparently, there’s no timid way to conquer a true Philly cheesesteak, and his tentative strategy backfired.
Thankfully, the experience didn’t turn Senator Kerry away from beef.
These are just a few examples of prominent democrats who have a special place in their heart for beef. Were you surprised? I admit I was a little surprised, although liberals have always been a bit of a mystery to me. Could the love of beef be what will eventually unite the country? Maybe. Next time you’re arguing about politics, just bring up beef. Maybe, just maybe, it will replace contention with appreciation.