After the unproductive volley of criticism between the Obama and Romney camps during the “Mommy Wars,” who has any right to be surprised that the current fuss is all about the presidential candidates and their snacks.
Yes, the entertainment of the hour, brought to you by the heirs of Athenian democracy and Enlightenment republicanism, is about snacks. Such patriotism does all this inspire within us that we struggle to keep our right hands from covering our hearts as we type these words.
Add “dog-eating” to the long tail of modifiers attachable to President Obama, somewhere between “basketball-playing” and “Jay-Z-listening.” What conspiracy theorist needs to slander the president with false labels like “Muslim” or “communist” when “dog-eater” says so much more — and has the added advantage of being true.
Liberals have gotten plenty of mileage from the story about Mitt Romney’s poor dog Seamus, strapped to the top of the family automobile during a road trip and responding — quite understandably — with a torrential bowel movement that forced Mitt to pull over, check his hair, and hose down the soiled car (hopefully not one of Ann’s Cadillacs).
Now supporters and opponents of the president alike have seized on a somehow ignored yet insignificant passage from his 1995 book Dreams from My Father in which he recalls chowing down on a little canine barbecue as a child in Indonesia.
That’s horrifying! isn’t it? Would you trust a man who had eaten a dog at the age of six or seven to run the executive branch of our government? Do we really want this dog-eater as the commander-in-chief of our military? Has Bo been given a Secret Service detail yet? (If so, Bo might be in for a good time.)
This has got to rank up there with George Washington’s chopping down the cherry tree and Calvin Coolidge’s running a brothel out of his parents’ house a la Risky Business as one of the great childhood indiscretions of presidential history.
National Review Online gave Romney the chance to reinforce his credentials as a normal-eating person (NEP) on Thursday, challenging him to name the strangest food he had ever consumed: “Ahhh . . . You know, I don’t recall eating anything particularly bizarre,” he replied. “I can’t think of anything particularly surprising that I’ve had the occasion to eat.”
Really? Hold that thought.
On Tuesday, Romney made another small contribution to the public’s perception of his own awkwardness after he needlessly and unknowingly maligned a tray of cookies from a bakery in Bethel Pa., comparing them in appearance to what a chain convenience store might offer:
The table was filled with snacks, like potato chips and pretzels. But for whatever reason, Mr. Romney zeroed in on the colorful collection of cookies. “I’m not sure about these cookies,” he said, looking at one of the women. “They don’t look like you made them. No, no. They came from the local 7-Eleven, bakery, or whatever.”
No points won with Mamaw and Pap Pap there.
How Romney manages to create these minor PR disasters for himself unprovoked isn’t altogether clear, but we do know that he should have told National Review Online that the strangest food he had ever eaten was cookies from 7-Eleven.
That way, he could’ve turned Tuesday’s gaffe into a joke at the expense of 7-Eleven, whose endorsement Romney hasn’t counted on since the Blue Raspberry-Dog Meat Slurpee was introduced a few months ago. An opportunity wasted, to be sure.