The Presidential Vegetable Paradox

This article is from the archive of our partner .

President Obama told a kid reporter on Tuesday that his favorite food was broccoli. A bit pandering, perhaps (he was at the White House's Kid's State Dinner, which had the theme "healthy eating"), but Americans were excited to hear it nonetheless. We probably won't ever see a picture of the President nibbling on veggies, though. When it comes to visuals, we want to see the leader of the free world chow down.

It's a ritual of presidential campaigns for candidates to eat the best local dishes. Obama has probably tasted all the good food America has to offer over the course of his two campaigns, and photographers have been there to capture it. 

We may want to hear what his favorite vegetable is, but we want to see him eat fried things.

An AP photo search for President Obama and broccoli turns up zero images.

Obama is not the first president to cater to our opposing food whims. While former President Clinton's a vegan now (after undergoing two heart-related procedures in 2004 and 2010), you won't find any pictures of him munching on kale. Sure, Clinton said, "I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now," but what we got were photos of him eating fries. Some of the most beloved photos of the former president were taken inside a McDonald's.

Recommended Reading

Also, in general, we just really like to see presidents eat ice cream. Jimmy Carter's favorite vegetables are collard greens, okra, and squash. We could not find photos of the president eating those snacks. Here is a photo of him eating ice cream.

George W. Bush was reportedly a "health nut." Yet here he is, eating ice cream.

After the President's admission today, some excited citizens have coined the term "Barackoli" and created images of Obama's face superimposed on a head of broccoli. But still, no pictures have surfaced of our leader actually consuming the vegetable. There you have it, America: we'll turn our president into broccoli before we'll watch him eat it. 

(Photos by Associated Press.)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.