The New York Times took Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush‘s recent Paleo diet to task today, wondering if shedding weight will also shed him votes come 2016:
The rigid abstemiousness runs the risk of putting him at a dietary distance from an American electorate that still binges on carbohydrates and, after eight years of a tea-sipping president, craves a relatable eater-in-chief.
Breaking bread with Iowans? Try having almonds, Mr. Bush’s preferred high-protein snack food.
Bonding over hamburgers in New Hampshire? How about salad with grilled chicken, his monotonous go-to lunch.
Waffling on his commitment to voters, the paper notes Bush will have a bite of pie one minute, not have a bite of pie the next:
During his campaign swing through New Hampshire last week, Mr. Bush held up a plump slice of blueberry pie on a paper plate for every last camera to see. Then he slid a plastic fork into it.
“Hell with the diet,” he declared mischievously. “Where are the french fries?”
Mr. Bush, however, did not finish the slice.
And while Bush’s commitment to the diet isn’t going to win him any liberal votes either, it is gaining him favor with liberal pundits who have had enough with the media’s misunderstanding of heartland voters.
Salon‘s Jim Newell writes:
It is a proud tradition for campaign reporters based in New York or Washington to worry on behalf of the candidates about how the fat, vulgar slobs of middle America will receive them. It is the conventional wisdom among top reporters that a full 100% of the electorate in Iowa, in addition to being functionally illiterate and hypnotized by some obscure mystical persuasion called “religion,” eats nine pounds of cheeseburger-flavored pancake pies soaked in butter per day. The traditional Heartland nightcap is a 64-ounce cup of uncut trans fats, and sodium.
And Eschaton‘s Duncan Black is quick to reiterate this is nothing new.
It’s like when Candy Crowley flipped her shit because John Kerry, prostate cancer sufferer, dared to try to order Green Tea..If you live in Real America you know that every supermarket sells a variety of types of tea, and that either restaurants have or don’t have a basket of random tea options. Either they do or they don’t. People in kabumfuck Iowa might have actually experienced something other than deep fried Twinkies with a side of Coke in their lives, and it’s journalists, not politicians, who are being elitist assholes for assuming otherwise.
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