April 22, 2008
Having it and not eating it too?
I sent out this link in an email earlier, remarking lackadaisically that Hillary had eaten a cheesesteak in nearby Conshohocken (while Obama ate at a diner in Pittsburgh).
When I was reminded in a reply of the possible hazards of cheesesteaks (in particular, that a human being is supposed to "lose two weeks of life for each cheesesteak consumed"), I went back to the report to read it more carefully.
Sure enough, it does not actually say that Hillary ate the cheesesteak; only that she "picked up" one:
The former first lady greeted voters at a polling place in Conshohocken, in suburban Philadelphia. She also visited a local restaurant there and picked up a Philly cheesesteak.A cheesesteak pickup? That could mean a lot of things, couldn't it? Hillary travels with the Secret Service, and is always accompanied by a stunningly beautiful "body person" - a mysterious Mideastern woman named Huma. The latter is as skinny as a rail, and it wouldn't surprise me if one of her jobs is to keep an eye on Hillary's figure.
Now come on! I'm not insinuating anything here. Any readers who think I am must have dirty minds!
I'm just saying, you know, with all the talk of elitism in this race, that the locals in Philly have a right to know whether Hillary ate that cheesesteak, and wasn't just putting on an act by pretending to be like the "little people" around here.
Despite the fact that it concerns little people, though this is no small matter. Some may recall that in 2004, John Kerry committed a horrendous Philadelphia cheesesteak gaffe by daring to order one with Swiss cheese!
During the 2004 presidential campaign, candidate John Kerry ordered a cheesesteak with Swiss cheese in South Philadelphia. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, "reporters snickered," because "in Philadelphia, ordering Swiss on a cheesesteak is like rooting for Dallas at an Eagles game. It isn't just politically incorrect; it could get you a poke in the nose."
Needless to say, he lost.
And in 2005, Mitt Romney despicably declared the cheesesteak to have "no nutritive value":
In 2005, before Super Bowl XXXIX, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney turned down a cheesesteak wager by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell in the traditional pre-Super Bowl bet between leaders of the states represented in the game. Rendell later told reporters, "He said the cheesesteak had no nutritional value."
And we know what happened to him, don't we? It might not have the nutritive value that multimillionaires and health-conscious models from the Mideast crave, but around here, it's what people eat, and by any standard, it certainly has political value.
Obviously, cheesesteaks are very dangerous. Certainly, more dangerous than I initially realized when I saw the breaking news reports about Hillary's.
I decided to look further, and sure enough, the story of Hillary's cheesesteak is being reported all over the country (if not the world).
Yet the details of what she did with it are simply nowhere to be found.
Newsday reports that she "bought" one:
She dropped by a polling place in Montgomery County in suburban Philadelphia, stopped by a diner and bought a cheesesteak before launching a round of satellite TV interviews.The LA Times says she "ordered" one:
Campaigning outside Philadelphia, Clinton ordered a cheese steak at a restaurant as she continued her assault against Obama, brushing aside the suggestion that she has to score a big win today to remain competitive.NPR comes close to implying that Hillary ate it -- describing her as "stopping" for one:
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has spent the day so far making numerous campaign visits - even stopping for a mid-morning cheese steak -- in Montgomery County, a collection of Philadelphia suburbs that only recently became overwhelmingly Democratic.Finally, I found a genuine clue at MSNBC -- that she ordered it "to go":
After the press conference, Clinton visited a nearby restaurant where she ordered a Philly cheese steak to go.To go?
This looks bad. Not one story says that Hillary ate a cheesesteak. Ever.
I'm smelling a big, cheesy scandal.
DISCLOSURE: I grew up in the Philadelphia area eating cheesesteaks. I still do.
Yo Hillary! Better come clean!
(At least Kerry ate his.)
UPDATE (04/23/08): Only in today's Inquirer did I learn that Obama engaged in an act of conspicuous consumption, and not only ordered, but sat down and ate his cheesesteak:
Obama got his obligatory dose of cheesesteak at a South Philadelphia landmark, Pat's King of Steaks at Ninth and Wharton Streets.What a study in contrast!
(But it's too late to affect the results....)
posted by Eric on 04.22.08 at 06:37 PM
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