Bush loves Cheetos, McCain digs Dots and Clinton will nab your nachos
June 9th, 2011
08:45 PM ET
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Ever wonder how politicos feed themselves out on the campaign trail? CNN Political Team members Wolf Blitzer, John King, Candy Crowley, James Carville and Mary Matalin dish on presidential candidates' food habits from Howard Dean's ice cream pie obsession to Bill Clinton's icky coffee mishap.

You share your opinions with us every week in our comments and polls. Now it’s time to hear from CNN’s Political Team as they share the juiciest food stories from the campaign trail.

Wolf Blitzer, James Carville, Candy Crowley, John King, Mary Matalin and Soledad O’Brien share their own personal edible pleasures and those of politicos they’ve covered on the campaign trail. They also offer up a unique look at their culinary upbringing and traditions, from the dinner table to the roadside stand.

Keep up with our scrumptious series at eatocracy.com/politicalteam – we’ll be distributing digital delicacies from the Political Team throughout 2011.

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soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. bclay

    Sounds like they need the assistance of Find Your Organic Soul.....we are talking health coaches who know how to make healthy, food taste oh so good. No need for processed chips....they make spicy flax chips that are to die for...did I mention they are raw too! Look them up, you will be amazed!

    June 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  2. JR

    Eating on the road for months is not going to be like eating at home. You hit small towns, or have limited time and you're going to eat whatever is in front of your face because that is what is there. Drive across country and see what happens. By the end of it, you'll give your left elbow for a salad.

    So there is what is availiable and what you prefer and I imagine that it's not ever going to be the same thing.

    June 13, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  3. Chester Cheetah

    It ain't Easy being Cheesy,Baby!

    June 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  4. Jimmy

    This is news ladies and gentlemen :).
    F the people dieing in other countries!

    June 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • truefax

      But F'm with a condom those foreigners have diseases like you wouldn't believe.

      June 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  5. wrycon

    I didn't want to post again because it's plain to see civil, intellectual discourse on this comment board is an exercise in futility.

    All I'll say is the issue is not about the chicken, it's about the stereotype. We are all aware that racial stereotypes exist, yes? We are aware that black people loving fried chicken is a racial stereotype, yes? We are aware that Barack Obama is black, yes?

    Logic would dictate then that seeing a picture of Barack Obama eating fried chicken might recall the racist stereotype that black people love fried chicken. I'm doubting CNN was wanting to recall that racist stereotype. Based on their actions, it seems that was not their intention.

    Incidentally, this was the same picture used for racial propaganda condemning miscegenation – http://www.mizozo.com/world/10/2009/28/rnc-s-facebook-page-displays-racist-photos-for-nea....html.

    June 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Whitney Houston

      Kiss my Black ASS!

      June 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  6. Otto

    Who cares? I have a popeye close to me and have only been there once; at the request of a friend from out of State. I went to the same friends home and I ask if I could go get Popeyes down the block, why; the darn chicken taste great and the manager gave me an extra piece to boot. So, chicken does not mean the eater is black, it means it is a universal mean and white love it too. Oh, it does not have to be a race loving thing...everything taste like chicken...even the girls...

    June 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  7. TaraL.

    I love how the thumbnail picture was President Obama eating a chicken wing..now it's switched to him eating an ice cream cone...hm...

    June 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  8. Jim

    Why is Obama eating white ice cream, and not chocolate ice cream? I am offended. He should stick to his own color.

    The fact that CNN changed the picture is PATHETIC!!!

    June 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • I want da gold!


      June 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  9. Demos

    Mr. President,
    Try this superb ice cream!
    My brother owns the company and attended the ice cream courses at UofPenn.

    June 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  10. Redeye Dog

    "Ever wonder how politicos feed themselves out on the campaign trail?" No. I do wonder how much they are spending when they really sit down to eat, though. Never mind, the cute photo of Obama eating a cone... I'm certain they eat lavishly no matter where they are...

    June 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  11. btxxx

    CNN, why did you change the pic?

    June 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  12. Life_Long_Learning

    Thank you CNN for your thoughtfulness in changing the thumbnail pic. Perhaps as an African-American I am overly-sensitive to the issue of stereotypes, but I immediately had a negative gut reaction to the picture of President Obama eating chicken. My reaction was not right or wrong, it was just real. Our country has a very delicate history with race issues and unfortunately the mistakes of the past will always be present in the minds of those directly or indirectly affected by them. I doubt that CNN has ill intentions when posting the original picture, but I appreciate their awareness to change the picture when the concern was made obvious. The new ice cream picture still conveys the light-hearted message without offending a large subset of the readers. We all make poor judgment from time to time, but how we respond to it is the true sign of integrity. I applaud your judgement CNN

    June 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • truefax

      So can the president not eat chicken in public for fear of offending your delicate sensibilities? What the wrong with liking chicken or eating it? Or is the act of doing it public while black shameful now?! You know what there's a stereotype that southerner’s eat a lot of grits and that they’re a bunch red necks. But when the Clintons had fund raising breakfasts what did they serve?? GRITS.
      Why? Cuz bubba will destroy a plate so fast you'll think it's a magic act and he doesn’t give a crap what the hell you think.

      Stop being a giant sloppy p*ssy. Chicken is f*cking delicious and you're a moron.

      June 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jim

      "the mistakes of the past will always be present in the minds of those directly or indirectly affected by them"

      I can't change the past, even if it was my past (which it is not). So this is your problem, not mine. Get over YOUR racism, and maybe the rest of the racists will follow.

      June 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • JR

      I think that it says more about the stupidity in the media then it says anything about any particular group. I see that stuff on the television, from news to advertising to sitcoms and shake my head, and I'm not a minority. Do people even think anymore? They're not racist, they're just...really really clueless. Does anyone vet anything?

      But if one has to have to have a sterotype, I'd vote for friend chicken for myself. I'm Polish, we already have potatoes, add fried chicken and...mmmmmmm good. Anyone want to trade that for beer and bowling? I engage in neither, and they're up for grabs. :D

      June 13, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  13. truefax

    Well guys it's now ice cream he's eating.... To recap our pres likes to eat chicken (as do most non stupid people) some were offended because it smacked of implied racisim.

    You know what... It's ok for a black man to enjoy fried chicken, or watermelon I am not a black man and I will f*cking devour it if it's put infront of me nom nom nom. Stop being such pc p*ssies.

    June 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  14. Scott

    Wow, I saw the pic of Obama eating the chicken wing and didn't really care – figured CNN didn't either. HOWEVER, CNN just changed the picture to him eating ice cream... Wow CNN......just wow. You are truly pathetic.

    June 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  15. J

    Wow. CNN changed the picture. Are you happy now all you over-sensitive snobs? This right here is part of the problem in this country. Everyone's political correctness and fear of offending anyone is making us soft. Shame.

    June 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • btxxx

      Exactly. USA- land of the offended.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Jim

      Better not show any pictures of track events either. There might be one of a black man throwing a javelin.

      June 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  16. RS

    Obama eating chicken...freakin halarious. Barney Frank eating a hot dog would have been the kill shot!

    June 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  17. bobc

    C'mon, real reporting please!!!

    What is this, Good Morning America??

    June 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |


    June 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  19. palintwit

    I'll bet that a lot of people want to bash you in the face every time they see you.

    June 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • jean2009

      Count me among them...we all know what Matt is.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm |


    June 10, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • jean2009

      Christine, if it had been watermelon I might have agreed with you...but fried chicken give it a break.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Kyle

      and yet Sylvan you still clicked on it

      June 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  21. Len

    I thought this was actually a fun story. A reminder that politicians are people too :)

    June 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  22. lol, just lol...

    Wait shouldn't Obama be eating broccoli and carrots or something?

    June 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • ahoov

      Really though, I mean his wife is promoting that like nothing else. Looks like there might be a little trouble brewing in the Obama household, hahaha. Don't read too deeply into this btw, because I know some people will.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  23. ric

    WAHHHH chicken is racism WAHHHH

    June 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  24. Christine

    This picture just illustrates how much we have not evolved as a nation. No wonder we are slipping from number 1 in every area that counts: economy, education, science and tecnology, the arts....

    CNN knew what they were doing when they posted this picture. Expect the African American community to demand an apology–as we should. CNN is not any better than the Enquirer with a stunt like this!!

    June 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • ahoov

      Wow, just wow.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • J

      You're kidding me, right? CNN didn't even think about black people = fried chicken. You know why? Cause they have actual things to do, like post news articles, and they dont sit and analyze every picture to make sure it's not perpetuating a racist stereotype. You do realize people like you are the reason racism continues to have influence, right?

      June 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • April A

      Seriously, y'all are concerned that a pic of him was posted eating chicken. You believe that it's racist & an apology should be issued? Shame on yourselves! There are many people in this nation that eat fried chicken regardless of race. Who said that only one race should enjoy fried chicken? Last time I checked, I could enjoy whatever type of cuisine I chose be it Korean, Italian, or good old fashioned southern style fried chicken. Are you gonna tell me that I'm racist because of it?

      June 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  25. wrycon

    The point is whoever took the pictures of Obama eating likely took more than one picture. All of the pictures were assembled and someone at CNN said, "That one" and pointed to the picture of Obama gnawing on a fried chicken wing. Was it intentionally done to perpetuate racial stereotypes, probably not. But what's certain is myself and other commenters immediately thought the picture's message was "look at the black guy eating fried chicken", which is obviously not what the article is about. CNN should be cognizant of this and consider that their readers might have this reaction. If they don't care, well that's their choice. But, if it were me choosing the thumbnail picture for this article and saw that pic, I'd see what other pictures we had that were less likely to be misinterpreted as perpetuating racial stereotypes.

    June 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • ric

      Nice try talking around how you think this picture is racist. I can't say on here what I would actually like to say to you right now

      June 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Geez

      So what you are saying is CNN was wrong for NOT thinking like a racist? Now Ive heard just about every angle on racism...

      June 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  26. ric

    Typical for people to cry racism. Get over yourselves it makes me F*#*@& sick.

    June 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm |

    Is it possible that Obama merely likes fried chicken, and there is no bigoted connotation implied by the photo? After all, fried chicken is dmn tasty!

    June 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • jean2009

      Better than Dots.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  28. SFgiants

    I'll have my first lady grow that shit at the back at the white house :)

    June 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  29. Joe, San Diego

    My favourite: grilled figs w/orange-honey drizzle atop Brie cheese and French bread – tropical fruit kabobs w/key lime-yogurt sauce – salmon pinwheels atop brown rice aside asparagus with spicy mustard dipping sauce – vanilla cupcakes garnished w/blueberries sauce

    June 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Smarter Human

      Pompous doosh (sic) alert!

      June 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
      • NotSoSmart

        Nah, the doosh would be you, Smart. Can't see the humor there?

        June 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  30. SFgiants

    I would be known as a weed head president. I love my kush.

    June 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  31. Beezy

    I'd be stocked up on Miller Lite

    June 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  32. Brian

    It's kind of funny the chose an image of Obama eating fried chicken. I bet there are pictures of him eating other foods but it just HAD to be the fried chicken pic.

    June 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  33. russ

    who cares? seriously. find jobs for people.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  34. tsktsk

    ......besides, I thought it was frog legs.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • dave denver

      OK if it was frog legs Obama was chowing on then CNN is perpetuating the stereotype that effeminate men eat frog legs (and French).

      June 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
      • jean2009

        Frog legs ... yummy! If you haven't tried them you don"t know what you have missed. The French know good cuisine.

        June 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • maresmith

      or crocodile

      June 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  35. tsktsk

    Obama + fried chicken = stereotype??? Racism will never go away because people like you continue to need a crutch in life.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • jean2009

      Nonsense at least he has better taste than to eat Dots.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  36. ahoov

    Why would anyone care that Obama is eating Chicken? How is that racist? I'm Caucasian and I enjoy Chicken, it's delicious, who cares if Obama happens to be African American and enjoys Chicken. People are way too sensitive.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Tray

      But he isn't African American and I wish people would stop referring to him as that. He is MUSLIM.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
      • palintwit

        He's no more muslim than you or I. But you are definitely a moron.

        June 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
      • Smarter Human

        @Tray, You're so dumb you don't know the difference between race and religion!

        June 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
      • ahoov

        Ummm, Tray, I hope you're not serious. Because if you are, your intellect is greatly lacking.

        June 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
      • jean2009

        Tray you are dumber than a box of rocks.

        June 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
      • KIndie

        hahaha. Tray. I was wondering where you were. Ladies and Gentlemen I hereby present you the DUMBEST person I have ever met. Please tell me that you know the difference between race and religion.

        June 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • jean2009

      Chicken beats Dots and jellybeans.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  37. bristoltwit

    Sarah Palin packs mooseburgers and s'mores for herself, and tubs of buttered bacon for the dancing porker.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Geez

      And sexual frustration once again rears its ugly head.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
      • palintwit

        Yours ?

        June 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  38. Doug Brown

    What has the world come to when a person cannot take a bite of food without someone jammin a camera into their face? Were we supposed to notice if he had chicken jammed between his teeth too? Maybe some of his salad was jammed into his teeth. CNN has become a classless paparazzi,

    June 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  39. joe scibetta

    April, pretty pathetic that you take offense to the thumbnail pic of Obama eating chicken. I forgot, we can only show people of color eating those non racist foods like pasta, or a turkey sandwich. You are the real bigot for pointing this out. I'm sure you are one those that want God taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance to.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Jam

      Way to go, Joe. Since O'b got into office racism has quadrupled!

      June 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
      • jean2009

        Jam, chicken is not racist. If it were KFC and Buffalo Wild Wings wouldn't be in business. I think we all would rather eat chicken than Dots or jellybeans.

        June 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  40. bill

    They can eat weiner

    June 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  41. Elmeaux

    I'd be known as the Pizza President :P

    June 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  42. Brendon

    Awww Bill Clinton likes taco bell. Was that before or after he killed over 40,000 Serbia and Kosovo peaceful folk?

    June 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • truefax

      I like taco belles and I know bubba does to, something else I know is that he didn't just nuke Serbia. Monsters should be treated monstrously.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Hawk

      I wish he killed 40,000 Serbs.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • dave denver

      but Brendon Clinton and his merry men have assured us over and over there were no casualities in that invasion, I think what he meant was no casualites that he gave a d### about.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Sammy

      I bet Clinton likes southern belles, too.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • UCFKnightman

      Wow....some of you have some very convoluted logic. Clinton was not responsible for ANYTHING in Kosovo. Compassion is a choice, not a law and getting fully involved in a war is a very difficult decision.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Don'tTryThisAtHomeI'mAProfessional

      Get a life.

      June 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |

    If they are going to feature Obama eating fried chicken they need to show Gingrich eating Wonder bread.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

      Fair enough.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  44. April

    Using a thumbnail image of President Obama eating chicken? Nice way to perpetuate a stereotype, CNN. Really nice.

    June 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Chaz

      Maybe they should have shown Barney Frank eating a hot dog.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm |

        I am sure you fantasize about that yourself eveyrday, hence the idiotic comment you sack of hetero filth. Go drink bleach.

        June 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
      • corey

        Best comment of the day goes to Chaz

        June 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • Nats

        Bad... but very funny

        June 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Elmeaux

      You mean the stereotype that all Presidents eat chicken...?

      June 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
      • Jackie

        That's what I'm sayin. White and black alike love delicious fried chicken! This is America! Should I be offended by a picture of a pregnant woman eating pickles and ice cream? It's a stereotype after all....

        June 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Cedrick

      CNN is a batch of subversive racist prricks. They knew exactly what type of stereotype they were displaying.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
      • Popeye's

        Glad they didn't run out of chicken or else there would have been outrage! haha watch what happens when popeye's run out of chicken in NY once

        June 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
      • Ummm, really?

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating fried chicken. If President Obama has no shame in eating it, then what's the shame in showing a picture of it?

        June 13, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • dave denver

      I had to laugh when i saw that thumbnail hahaha whoops I did it again. Mostly because I knew it would evoke hatred from Obamakins.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
      • jean2009

        I'm an Obamakin and in my opinion fried chicken is better tasting than either Dots or Cheeto's.

        June 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Smarter Human

      I know, totally! And Fried Chicken to boot! Could they have used a more inappropriate image? I don't think so...

      June 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
      • NotSoSmart

        Coulda been watermelon.

        June 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Ray

      I saw a photo of the prez today eating a wiener.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
      • Anthrogirl


        June 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Brandon

      The acknowledgement of such stereotypes is one of the leading causes of their perpetuation.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Geez

      That the you picked up on that shows you are the one with the problem... not CNN.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
      • Don'tTryThisAtHomeI'mAProfessional

        Spot on Geez.

        June 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • J

      The political correctness is killing me. He's black so he automatically is perpetuating a stereotype if he eats chicken? The guy can't eat chicken because lots of black people eat chicken? Yeesh. He likes chicken, who gives a hoot if he's black.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Edsr

      Just put a bone in his nose and a pork chop in his teeth and you have YOUR President.............

      June 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
      • MalaDee@Edsr

        Of which country are you a citizen? If you're an American, he's your President, too, tard.

        June 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
      • Misty

        Put a bone up your ass!

        June 25, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • UCFKnightman

      Maybe the president just likes to eat chicken and nothing was intended racially. Ever consider that? People get offended because they choose to be offended. Sometimes things are the way they are and no other meaning is intended. Grow up people, political correctness has run amok I'm afraid.

      June 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
      • MalaDee@UCFKnightman

        Damn straight skippy! I'm female, white and fried chicken is my favorite food. It's got nothing to do with anything – I just like it. If ignorance is bliss, there are some seriously euphoric people posting here.

        June 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • notreally

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but he is eating ice cream in the picture.... not chicken.
      Please build a bridge and get over it.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • dave denver

      HAHA i checked back and they changed the thumbnail to Obama eating an ice cream cone. The intellectual weakness displayed at CNN never ceases to amaze me.

      June 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • nisha

      @april: yea its a stereotype that "certain" people use to categorize a race...i wouldn't blame cnn for that picture though. a black man eating chicken, omg i knew he was a REAL BROTHER??? idk maybe its just me, but that was a dumb comment

      June 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • lolwut

      Actually, April, it's people like you who perpetuate the stereotype. Way to go.

      June 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  45. Jerv

    Creamer in his salad and 1000 island dressing in his coffee. Go Slick Willy!

    June 10, 2011 at 7:20 am |
  46. Maris (In Good Taste)

    Love that politicians admit to their food vices. If I was on a campaign bus it would be stocked with M&Ms :)


    June 10, 2011 at 1:01 am |
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