The Pizza Dish on 2012

Can any food compete with pizza as the signature dish of the GOP presidential primary? We think not.

Every presidential campaign cycle has its breakout foods.

Bill Clinton's love of McDonald's earned him a mocking SNL skit before he was even inaugurated, and provided the fast food company with "with millions of dollars in free publicity" in 1992, according to Advertising Age.

In 2003, the mighty Philadelphia cheesesteak became a problem for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D), when he ordered one with swiss instead of Cheez Whiz during a campaign stop, eliciting gasps from locals and prompting accusations of elitism.

Obama has a brief arugula issue in 2007, when he asked a group of Iowa farmers, during a discussion of how increased store prices are trickling down to them, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?"

Now, as the Republican presidential primary heats up, it's already clear that if the 2012 contest is going to have a signature food, that food will be pizza.

It's not just that one candidate is a former pizza magnate (Herman Cain) and another (Mitt Romney) boasts of his time as a pizza company turnaround man. Candidates like Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich have turned to the humble pizza pie over the years as they've grasped for political metaphors and looked for ways to show their connection to regular Joes and Janes.

Below, some other pizza moments from the 2012 campaign -- and a ranking of how tied each candidate is to the quintessential dish of the political cycle (with 5 being the most connected and zero being the least):

Presented by

Chris Danello is a producer at The Atlantic.com.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Politics

Just In