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.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

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

More in Politics

Just In