Fat, Food, Media, Politics, Sweet Machine

The Obamas: Just like us!

Jezebel points us to a maddeningly obtuse series of recent articles about the Obamas’ eating habits. (There’s even an [unofficial] Obama food blog, for the truly obsessive.) Apparently the Obamas are baffling the pundit class by sometimes eating vegetables, and sometimes eating burgers. It’s true! Apparently this magical family is able to eat French freedom French fries in moderation! Can you believe it?

First up is professional fake feminist Maureen Dowd,* who claims Obama is “sending mixed signals on food” by eating different things at different times. Dowd seems to think that the true Obama is some kind of dieting, Whole Foods-loving nancy boy:

It was easy to imagine a scenario where the president and his body man, Reggie Love, would have their own early-morning TV show called “Downward Facing Dawn,” coaxing a reluctant nation into a regimen of yoga and yogurt.

But then he goes to Five Guys and eats a delicious burger! I think I can speak for all Americans when I say: WHAT THE FUCK OH DEAR GOD SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I’M ALLOWED TO EAT

Dowd concludes that this is all some sort of PR move to correct from Obama’s apparently still tragic arugula moment.

Also baffled is the wonderfully named Erika Lovley of Politico. Apparently, the Obamas’ meal plans are a direly needed piece of our national health care plan.

Nutrition experts, too, say Americans need a much better glimpse of what’s being dished up behind the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. “We have no idea what their regular breakfasts, lunches and dinners are like,” said American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and D.C. nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge. “Burgers, that’s all I ever hear about. They go to burger joints because it shows they’re just like everybody else, but everybody else is overweight.”

Dude! It’s like, when I go to Chili’s, everyone is totally fat, but then the Obamas are there too! What does it all mean?

Well, apparently at least one person in the White House is on board with not obsessing about the specious good food/bad food dichotomy: the White House Chef, Sam Kass, who is quoted as saying, “We try not to do diets, as opposed to just change our lifestyle […] A diet means you’re inherently going to fall off of it.” Hey, where have we heard that before? Of course, for many people “lifestyle change” is a code word for “diet,” but in the context of complete media obsession over the fact that the Obamas, you know, eat, Kass’ statement stands out as a beacon of sanity.

And then, god help us all, Lovley quotes everyone’s favorite “obesity expert,” our old friend MeMe Roth, who notes that President Obama already smokes so he’d better put down that damn burger or everyone in America is going to die of a heart attack. (Yes, I’m paraphrasing just a wee bit.) Now, we’ve said this before, but I’m gonna say it again for good measure:

Dear Journalists of America,

MeMe Roth is not an expert on anything. She is a deeply troubled woman who wants everyone in America to hate themselves as much as she does. Even the New York Times is running articles about what a nutjob she is. Please, for your own integrity, stop quoting her. On anything.


Sweet Machine

Now, back to the Obamas and their completely incomprehensible eating: it seems to me that they might just be following the Kate Harding Lifetime Diet Plan. They eat what they want, which is sometimes arugula and sometimes a big old burger. They exercise and they go to the doctor when necessary, and they go on living their fabulous lives. Maybe the very reason that Obama can sometimes just pick at his fries instead of shoving them into the presidential gullet is that he knows he can have fries another day if he likes. The man is the president of the United States, after all. Do we really want him to obsess over whether he should order his salad dressing on the side?

I know that this isn’t the first time that a President’s gustatory preferences have been drummed up into a national incident, but this idea that people will eat themselves fat because the Obamas ate fish and chips—while in London!—is only possible in a culture where we are so deeply alienated from our own bodies that we cannot be trusted to use food. Are you insulted? I sure as hell am. I voted for Obama because I wanted a grownup in charge of the country for once.

I was hoping this wouldn’t be necessary, but I think this is clearly the best way out of a bad situation. President Obama, if you’re reading this,** maybe this will help:

It'll look nice on the wall of the Oval Office
It'll look nice on the wall of the Oval Office

*Seriously, why does ANYBODY mistake MoDo for a feminist, ever? Is it because she is a woman with a job?

**I assume you’re a lurker.

103 thoughts on “The Obamas: Just like us!”

  1. Hopefully, people will realize after the Obama’s don’t gain substantial amounts of weight that eating a burger is okay.

    Personally, I think Obama’s sending mixed messages by wearing different coloured shirts. How am I supposed to know which colours are good and which are bad and whether the president is dedicated to healthy colouring.

  2. Well, Heather and Sweet Machine, I think Obama is sending mixed messages by sometimes being nice to Sasha and sometimes being nice to Malia. How are we to know which First Kid is the good one if he won’t give us a fucking clue????

    Also, he keeps changing his socks. What kind of an indecisive lunatic did we elect????????????????

  3. … and Michelle wears pink pants and cardigan while gardening! I only have denim and khaki! I am in crisis!

  4. @Eucritta: ZOMG! I don’t know what to do if pink is one of the ‘good’ colors! I look like hot buttered ass in pink…but at least I would look like a GOOD hot buttered ass, so I’d better get me some pink wardrobe extenders, I guess.


  5. That New York Times article clued me into the fact that MeMe Roth is my neighbor. I live four blocks from her child’s school. And when I see her in the hood, I will run up to her, jiggle my fat, and yell “Booga, booga, booga!”

  6. kimdog, you have to videotape that (Is it still called videotaping now that everyone and their dog has gone digital?) and post it on YouTube so we can all lol our fats at it.

  7. And when I see her in the hood, I will run up to her, jiggle my fat, and yell “Booga, booga, booga!”

    This image has completely made up for a rather crappy couple of days. Thank you!

  8. Seriously, M*M* makes me miss Kelly Brownell. At least he doesn’t say fat people deserve censure for being the size we are (maybe because he’s not exactly slender himself). But I guess he’s too old and fat and not cute enough to be an expert anymore.

    And I’m confused. I’m going to die of a heart attack because Obama smokes? Where — at the foot of my bed?

  9. I wanted to eat a dozen baby flavored donuts after reading the NYT MeMeMeMe MMMEEEEEE article. I knew it would make the grade for a post here.

    That Obama is some trickster with all that eating.

  10. kimdog, I seriously think you need to get fat at her and record it (using whatever medium suits you)!

  11. I’m going to die of a heart attack because Obama smokes? Where — at the foot of my bed?

    All together now: I WISH!

  12. I read that Maureen Dowd column this morning and was baffled myself. What mixed message? He eats whatever he feels like eating and in public too – what a concept!

    I don’t know if Dowd is a fake feminist, insecure feminist, whatever. She has written some things I’ve enjoyed. I can’t think of any of them right now.

  13. I kind of feel the same way about MeMe Roth as I do about Ted Haggard: I feel deeply sorry and sad for them because they’re so clearly miserable and self-loathing, yet I can’t just dismiss them because they’ve done SO MUCH to hurt those that they fear most. I just kind of want to grab them by the shoulders, look them in the eye, and say, “Hey, you’re okay. Yes, you. Just the way you are. Now cut it the FUCK OUT!”

  14. Just throwing it out there, as someone who works in reality TV: the Roths would make SUCH a good Wife Swap family, no?

  15. If the Obamas were raw foodist vegans, people would be all, “Oh noes our leader is a tree-hugging hippie!” If they ate nothing but grease, there would be, like, riots in the streets over his “terrible example for our children.” There’s literally no way Obama can avoid criticism when it comes to his food choices (or his political choices, really, but that’s another story).

  16. Sweet Machine, I heart you more than ever.

    And Lucy, OMG, yes they would. *I* would go on Wife Swap if they’d swap us with the Roths. (Though I might need to borrow a kid.)

  17. Someone please explain to my why we should care so much about what the Obama’s eat?

    And Kate, you living with MeMe’s kids? I’d pay money to see that.

  18. Kimdog, I think I love you.

    I am so fucking tired of the “people are stupid and cannot be trusted to make good decisions for themselves” argument. I eat what I like (within reason, since I think I’d feel like crap if i survived on Kraft mac & cheese alone…mmmmm…macaroni and cheese….). I really just DON’T CARE what the Obamas eat.

  19. Charlotte, why do we care what the Obamas eat? Because eating is a moral issue! It so totally is. All this talk about food being “sinful” and the “temptation” of tasty things… of of course there’s going to be analysis of what’s on the first family’s plates. We need VIRTUE in our LEADERS!

    …it’s completely stupid. Totally, utterly stupid. And it’s not going to stop any time soon. :\

  20. Lampdevil, I so agree with you. I don’t care if Obama sat down and started snacking on a tree; he wasn’t voted into office to show us all how to eat.

    Oh, and Kimdog, I really wish you would do that. I think shaking your fat at MeMe would be the ultimate act of fat activism.

  21. Ever since Obama ate at Ray’s Hellburger and Five Guys, I have only had one serious burger craving. I don’t understand it. I thought I’d want to eat whatever Obama ate. This is just like that smoking thing. I saw Obama doing it, and thought I’d want to do it, too, but I just didn’t. It makes no sense. I love Obama, I thought I’d want to do the things he does.

  22. You know this is all going to lead to a Kenneth Starr report on whether Obama did in fact engage in mastication relations with that burger.

  23. I’m tempted to try to think up the very best possible stunt to pull if one sees MeMe Roth in person.
    It makes me want to go to New York right now and wait around for her (not stalking, no, just hanging out) and do something that would give her nightmares for weeks.
    Big Moves Dancers and The Chubsters would be involved somehow.
    I’m not interested in harming her physically, or messing with her family, but somehow playing on her deepest, darkest fears.
    I think a great short story involving somehow a MeMe-like character becoming transformed into a fat acceptance advocate (she is so outrageous a parody of herself as to almost be an advocate as she is) is desparately needing to be written.

    This is seriously brilliant, SM.

  24. Nice certificate SM LOL

    A few things occurred to me while I was reading Dowd’s op-ed.

    First, how exactly does someone get a columnist gig at NYT? I have more biting political critique in my facebook status. What possessed her to write any column for the Grey Lady that included referrences to ‘Popeyes’ and that stellar example of journalistic integrity ‘Extra’.

    Second, I don’t know how many of you have read Carol Adams work on the gendered meanings of food. Good stuff. But Dowd’s references to effete arugula and real man red meat make me want to flog her with a piece of Primal Strips seitan jerky.

    Finally, in the name of all things decent and wholesome, please don’t sully that great southern tradition of fried chicken with words like ‘healthy’, ‘and ‘baked’. Either eat fried chicken or don’t. You might as well spit on my great granddaddy’s grave than to continue using these filthy terms to describe fried chicken. I say this as someone who will never eat poultry ever again but will be thinking about the good ole days of being a carnivore…

  25. I feel like this particular scrutiny of what Obama eats is in some ways no different from what happened during the whole Reverend Wright thing. If people weren’t worrying that *gasp* Obama was actually a Muslim, they were saying that Reverend Wright was *too extreme* of a Christian. My bra-less hippie mom who still wears her pins from the Vietnam War was literally about to not vote for Obama because of Reverend Wright. To which I say that the president’s religion (much like the president’s eating habits) is PRIVATE, and ultimately it should have no bearing on how he runs the country. If Obama is doing what he is supposed to as president and he’s doing it successfully, it doesn’t matter what he eats or who he worships in his private life.

    I seriously feel that after eight years of G.W. Bush, the media is still so befuddled by Obama that they NEED to make his religion, or his diet, or his use of BlackBerry significant, when ultimately these things have no bearing on his actual role as president.

  26. Sadly, the MEME article said she had some good points (“epidemic” and all that BS). *bangs head on desk*

    SM, I *heart* you. For a lot of reasons, but especially that footnote.

  27. Wait, did you catch what “DC nutritionist” Katherine Tallmadge said in that Politico post? “They go to burger joints because it shows they’re just like everybody else, but everybody else is overweight.”

    Seriously? Everybody? There are only four unoverweight people in America? (Five, if you count the FL’s mom, I guess.) And only one of them is male? And, by the way, does that mean MeMe Roth is overweight?

  28. Also, please pass the victory cabbage. (AKA sauerkraut, circa 1917, USA. As if y’all could forget!)

  29. Uh, I don’t know about anyone else here, but I seriously voted for the dude because of his stance on arugula.

    Doesn’t anyone here care about the ISSUES? (sarcasm) That article’s tripe is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t think I’ve rolled my eyes so much in a long time.

    Reporters, for your own fracking good, and the good of all, just take SM’s advice. K?

  30. Seriously, Richelle. How is it possible that we have a nation of 300 million people and not one person is normal? I suppose I must have been imagining all those skinny people at Burgerville and McMenamin’s.

  31. “Dude! It’s like, when I go to Chili’s, everyone is totally fat, but then the Obamas are there too! What does it all mean?”

    That. It is my favorite quote this week. Great post!

    So, apparently I missed the memo where instead of electing a man to manage our country, we were actually supposed to be electing a Life Coach for the masses. By that standard, shouldn’t Richard Simmons be president by now? *shudders in horror*

  32. Y’know, the biggest thing my husband has gotten from all my time on the fat side of the intertubes was the revelation that even with bacon or cheese on it, a big pile of spinach is still a big pile of spinach.

    Looks like Ms. Dowd, taking a break from fretting about how The Mens only Like Stupid Womens, Oh Noes, has decided to go the other direction. We’re now fretting about the subtractive power of bacon or cheese on spinach in a whole ‘nother MEAL.

    She is very gifted at the frettage, is Ms. Dowd. Always a whole new level.

  33. I wonder whether anyone writing these articles will notice that Barack Obama is thin?

    1. Obama eats a variety of foods and does not “diet” exclusively on lettuce, nonfat yogurt, and b/s broiled chicken!
    2. Yet… Obama is thin!
    3. So… a thin person can eat burgers and not become fat!
    4. Therefore… perhaps eating burgers does not cause fat!
    5. So… maybe not all fat people are fat because they ate burgers!

    Never happen. Sigh.

  34. @jaed:

    Your line of logic is simply too rational. Therefore, the media gains nothing by following it. Sadly, the only line of logic we seem to be capable of understanding (and printing in mainstream newspapers) is:

    1. Obama is thin.
    2. Obama eats burgers, despite being thin.
    3. If Obama can eat burgers and still be thin, then WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU, FATTY??? Clearly you aren’t doing a good enough job of cancelling out your burgers with arugula and yoga.

  35. “Nutrition experts, too, say Americans need a much better glimpse of what’s being dished up behind the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. “We have no idea what their regular breakfasts, lunches and dinners are like,” said American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and D.C. nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge.”

    I read this and I think, “Stalk much?” The only breakfasts, lunches, and dinners any American has the right to know about is their own. I don’t care what they eat. I’ve never cared what elected officials eat. Never before this post did it occur to me that ANYONE cared. Seriously, what IS that???

  36. “Maybe the very reason that Obama can sometimes just pick at his fries instead of shoving them into the presidential gullet is that he knows he can have fries another day if he likes.”

    I recognize myself in this. I’ve eaten fries like they were the last food I was ever going to get, because, well, I had forbidden myself to eat fries until I was working out.

  37. We (meaning the MSM and our society) are so fucked up about food we can’t even recognize when a family is eating normally!! Veggies one day, burgers the next. Oh my! Maybe on the same day. Being ABnormal is the new normal. Isn’t it a good thing for two pre-teen girls that food isn’t an issue. My mom was and is obsessed with eating healthfully and she has a 252 pound daughter for all her efforts.

    And can I just say how much I love you all?? Kimdog–LOL. Seriously–I L’d OL!

  38. *Seriously, why does ANYBODY mistake MoDo for a feminist, ever? Is it because she is a woman with a job?

    It’s because she is a cranky, resentful woman who works for the NYTimes. So she MUST be a feminist. :D

  39. Ugh, the only thing more insulting to the presidency than focusing on the Fly Swatting Incident when there are so many important things going on right now on which he can comment (Iranian election, financial regulation, ad infinitum…), is nitpicking what goes into his, or his family’s, mouth.

    (btw, I’m watching Azar Nafisi on Washington Journal right now and I’m SO excited. I LOVED “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” Okay, fanlove moment over)

  40. I’m reading Michael Pollan’s “In defense of food” and your post totally reasonates with his ideas about nutritionism as an ideology. Thanks for writing! Please keep writing! I’m sure Obama – and his Chef – are reading SP ;P

  41. I vote for the entire Big Moves cast doing a marathon dance revue on the street outside Meme’s place in New York. The magical fat vibes will penetrate the windows (unless she’s recently installed aluminum foil) and beam directly into her and her children’s brains, forcing them to suddenly be happy with themselves……

  42. I read the end of the paragraph on Sam Kass as “bacon of sanity.” :)

    Now that would make an excellent banner.

    Uh, I don’t know about anyone else here, but I seriously voted for the dude because of his stance on arugula.

    If only you had known how he felt about burgers before November!

  43. I vote for the entire Big Moves cast doing a marathon dance revue on the street outside Meme’s place in New York.

    Hah… this is even better than my proposed street jiggling. I’ll do some reconnaissance. I swear, if I can figure out where she lives, I would totally organize this.

  44. This is awesome. I have been very creeped out by the MSM’s interest in what the Obamas eat, but I’m glad to see it used as snark fodder, and in such able hands.

    And LOL Bacon of Sanity. One of my favorite things to order at my favorite pub is the Salmon of Knowledge but I’d pass that up at least once to try the Bacon of Sanity.

    Hey, Jezebel is crashing my browser so maybe it’s mentioned there and I just haven’t seen it, but…. there’s more than a little of the “Acceptably Black” thing going on in Maureen Dowd’s piece, don’t you think?

    I mean, is she just not-very-transparently asking, “Do the Obamas share the arbitrary cultural preoccupations that have tended to get coded as ‘white,’ ‘educated’ and ‘liberal’ — OR NOT? Can I imagine the president and his body man doing yoga and eating arugula — OR NOT? Or are they *gasp* FAKING IT? True, he DID fret about obesity, and he did say something chiding about Popeyes, and Michelle has an organic garden… but then he eats a burger! In the midst of all these mixed signals, how can I KNOW WHETHER MY FRIENDS AND I ARE BEING VALIDATED AND APPEASED BY THE WHITE HOUSE?”

    In fairness, I tend to see that at work in almost any instance of a white woman speaking glowingly about anything “natural” or “healthy”… and while I think there’s often something going on there, sometimes I think I magnify it because of my own hurts over feeling socially rejected by some of the crunchy white women in my town right after having my first child. Do y’all think it’s going on here?

  45. I had a dream about our president last night. Apparently, my subconscious believes he is a close-talker that smells exactly like cookies.

  46. From the NYT article:
    Ms. Roth’s message is hardly outlandish: There is an obesity epidemic, and there are probably better ways to celebrate a child’s birth than sending a passel of kids into sugar shock in the middle of math class.

    My response? asdfghjkl;;;;;;;;;;;;; Ow. Banging your head that hard on the keyboard hurts.

    You know what? I’m not afraid of diabetes. My father has it. My grandmother has it. My great-grandmother had it, and she lived to be 94, kicking and stomping the entire time. She died six months after my great-grandfather died, so unless diabetes causes broken hearts, I don’t think it was a factor. Why are people so afraid of an easily managed disease?

  47. kimdog, I think just having more fat people milling around her would be awesome. Like if she suddenly felt like every third person she saw was deathfat (my size or larger). I think whole fat families could suddenly start shopping where she shops, fat women could be matching her pace while she walks. I think surrounding her by a “cushion of fatness” — since it makes her so uncomfortable, exposing her to it more might have in interesting impact. It would be so cool if this happened, and then she began mentioning that there seemed to be a sudden increase in the obesity epidemic IN HER NEIGHBORHOOD. If suddenly, she found that when she was being served in a restaurant, the waitperson was fat. At the library, the librarian is fat. Perhaps an effort can be made by the New York fat to be in her face as much as possible, to be as visible as possible.
    And then, if she decided to go to a therapist, how cool would it be if the therapist was fat.
    Okay, so this is sounding like a movie. I was going to say a Woody Allen movie, but he’s pretty fatphobic himself, so it will need a different director/screenwriter.

  48. I’ve several times used mixed greens with arugula on burgers. Who knew it was a subversive act? Not I.

    A Sarah, I see something of that in Dowd’s piece too.

  49. A Sarah, I do think it’s hard for some white people to grasp — do the Obamas eat like rich white people? If not, they don’t seem to be eating in the way that black people steretypically eat — so how can that be? Oh, it’s so confusing, they seem to be eating in an undiscernable manner. Why must they make it so hard for our brains?
    It’s funny, I think that the Obamas do something I totally relate to — they want to try whatever is know as the local specialty. They seem to, gasp, like food.
    But, but, you can’t LIKE FOOD. Because then you will eat tasty foods (no license! the one SM has provided is not acceptable!) — and then you will be fat!

  50. A Sarah, I think you are definitely onto something, which I hadn’t teased out my thoughts about when I wrote this post. Certainly the idea that Obama is trying to project a “regular Joe” image is racially complicated.

  51. Richelle: Also, please pass the victory cabbage. (AKA sauerkraut, circa 1917, USA. As if y’all could forget!)

    No way! I still call Veterans’ Day Armistice Day. And I’m changing my surname to Windsor. Send the Hun to tarnation!

    SM, great post. I always like your tone. It comes off as a sort of kindly, teasing, yet eviscerating wit. How you do dat? And I agree that the second footnote is a doozy.

  52. [i]*I* would go on Wife Swap if they’d swap us with the Roths.[/i]

    And *I* would totally watch that episode at the laundromat instead of doing everything in my power to plug my ears and avert my eyes when it comes on during Friday Night Laundry Time.

  53. I always thought Obama was a candidate trying to be appealing to all people at the same time. If he shuns burgers, then he’s alienating the beef industry. If he shuns home-grown organic vegetables, then he loses the alleged “elites” or whatever. I thought food and politics always mixed. Remember Clinton at McDs? Bush Sr. and broccoli? And of course, when a politician is in a place famous for a particular dish, there’s the “eating the famous local dish” photo-op.

  54. Obama eats all different kinds of food because he is pandering to EVERYONE. He just wants everyone to think he’s like them, when he eats burgers he’s pandering to regular americans and when he eats arugala he’s pandering to leftists (Because we all no leftists are in no way normal or american.) All of this is just a clever ruse to distract us from the fact that he’s an Alien.

    What do aliens eat anyway? I was going to say Brains, but I know that’s not right.

    mmmmm Braaaaaaaains.

    (Also, Shapely Prose really is a Bacon of Sanity. It makes sanity just that much yummier!)

  55. Okay, I haven’t read all the comments yet, but I just want to say:


    Yes. Preferably somewhere near Ms. MeMe.

  56. Glad to be a fat Canadian. No one cares what our Prime Minister eats! Sadly most people don’t even know who he is but, hellloooo!! Who gives a shit what the President and his family consume. The calories are not added to their asses, not ME ME’s. Great thread guys, my co-workers always give me strange looks as I read these things. Maybe because my fat is jiggling!

  57. I don’t know very much about Maureen Dowd, except that she was caught at, inadequately explained and apologized for, and received a token wrist-slap for plagiarism. Why would I respect anything she has to say on any topic whatever?

    Also, that Beth Ditto article WAS atrocious (“always that slight worry that fat people are going to be a bit whiffy” INDEED), but Ditto herself sounded like a bacon of sanity.

  58. Well said. Truly baffling that people are concerned and confused over someone who sometimes eat healthy and other times indulge. That’s called living a good life for most of us.

  59. Every time I read about Me!Me! Roth’s crusade against cupcakes, I just really crave a cupcake. After seeing her interview the other day, I ate a delicious ice cream sandwich just to spite her.

    And for the next 4-8 years Obama has more important things to worry about than whether or not he gains weight from eating a variety of normal foods. We all know that dieting just makes a person crazy and self-hating enough to not get things done, so I for one hope he spends no more than 30 seconds a day thinking about what he’s putting into his body. Smokes included. HE HAS MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT, YES INDEED.

  60. **I assume you’re a lurker.
    Lol w/coffee out the nose!

    Apparently real Americans eat bland crappy diets made up entirely of the same three meals, without veggies or strange foreign sounding ingredients. That would exclude large swaths of Texas, since a lot of “authentic” Texican food is inspired by Mexican cuisine. It rules out large swaths of the Mid-west where the cuisine is based on traditional Polish and German recipes. It rules out big chunks of the South where the food is a veritable melting pot of different ethnicities! Gen-yoo-ine “Nawlins” food: French! Chicken fried steak: German!

    “We’re surrounded by dirty foreign foods! Quick, cling to your hamburgers and your fried potatoes lest you become a tainted pinko liberal pantywaist!”

    Or, you know, it’s just food. Eating while Presidenting is just eating, it’s not a statement. Kind of like eating while fat.

  61. Muse of Ire, I’m sure it was a typo, but I LOVE the idea of a “Bacon of Sanity”.

    The Bacon of Sanity could be a superhero, casting beams of tasty tasty bacon to lull her enemies into a stupor of happy satiety.

    Or maybe it’s a grail-like reward for our quest. Those of us who reach True Self-Esteem and Happiness are rewarded with the Bacon of Sanity, an ever-replenishing package of Nueske’s tasty tasty smoky bacon, the inclusion of which in a recipe guarantees not immortality, but rather a savoring of everyday experience.

  62. “Seriously, why does ANYBODY mistake MoDo for a feminist, ever? Is it because she is a woman with a job?”

    HHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!! SM for the win!!
    i guess some people still mistake her for a writer, though at least one other person here in comments remembers her plagiarism offense – the one she was caught at, anyway. Plagiarism is rarely a fleeting impulse.


    I mean, great if we can focus it on memememe, but other people need that moment of “brwhhh?” as well.

    Give me three days’ notice, within four hours’ drive, and I’m THERE. I will wear my ruffled petticoat and my striped stockings and my hair in 9 pigtails. Or I could get all perky and office-y and pretend to be a fat realtor showing the neighborhood to a couple of Fat Dykes, BOOGA-BOOGA-BOOGA.

  64. Much as it pains me to defend anybody who spouts such nonsense… Sweet Machine, is there any word other than “nutjob” – or variation thereof – that you could use to describe her?

    I mean, yeah, she may have mental health problems, and does seem to be very troubled, too. But to say so like that seemed very ‘othering’.

    On a different note, yay for fish and chips!
    (my local chippy is called Northern Sole, which pleases me immensely.)

  65. This was awesome, Sweet Machine! Can I get that certification too? I can see myself whipping it out every time I go to get a burger. See everyone? I have credentials that allow me to eat here without your scorn!

    The idea of the fat tango mob shaking their fat at Meme is the best thing I’ve ever heard. I’m visiting nyc next month, and now I hope and pray to see her so I can do just that.

  66. ZOMG! Eating different things at different times! Throwing us all into confusion! Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children??

  67. PS – your post made me laugh out loud for several minutes. It has been a crappy week. Thank you. I needed to laugh.

  68. Or I could get all perky and office-y and pretend to be a fat realtor showing the neighborhood to a couple of Fat Dykes, BOOGA-BOOGA-BOOGA.

    *loves this idea, volunteers own house which is currently for sale*

  69. If there is a fat flash mob anywhere in New York, oh my, I will be so happy. I’m unfortunately on the other side coast at about the 47 degrees north of the equator, being fat at everyone here. I’m a one-woman dancing flash mob of my own.

    The other thought I had today was of Fat Acceptance’s Most Wanted.

  70. I have NOTHING constructive to add at all, but I have decided to contribute to the comments more, instead of lurking for years on end and LOLing all.the.time at all you brilliant folks.

    I had to say it. You are all hilarious and awesome. and a big +1 to the ooga booga youtube vid. :)

  71. Oh Christ, now it’s the President’s job to show us what to eat. Dowd and her Food Police are hovering dangerously close to an ugly, barely submerged racism: “Hey, let’s see what Black people eat! They sure love their junk food, huh? How do they stay so thin?!” How come nobody hovered over the Bush family’s eating habits, and avoided looking into the sort of substances that resulted in W choking on those pretzels and his father throwing up on the Japanese Prime Minister?

    God forbid that we view the first family’s eating habit

  72. Awesome post, SM! I can’t put into words how much I dislike Maureen Dowd. Hack is too kind a word for her.

    I think one thing that rankles people about Obama is his very imperviousness to the petty commentary that is the lifeblood of the beltway crowd (and we all know that Mo Dowd longs to be Queen Bee of that crowd).

  73. Is anyone else just plain angry that the NYT would allow a columnist to publish such a pointless article that is basically about her own food issues?

    I am not saying every printed word must be heavy, but this personality piece is just a waste of space. It is ridicules that a critique of the first families eating habits is worthy of such attention.

    I would guess the vast majority of writers; editors etc at the NYT have issues with food/fat/health that the sheer stupidity of MD’s column was lost on them.

  74. JennyRose: It was a big tipoff for me that the article was in the Metro/NY area of the paper. That to me indicated that the paper saw it as kind of an ‘insider’ story–that you would get it because you, as a reader of the NYT, know people like this. As a teacher, I see that kind of behavior all the time from parents of a certain class: massive entitlement.

    SM: MoDo drives me batty. ciocia’s comment hit it right on.

    A Sarah: Nice. I think you are really getting at something here. The Obamas make Americans confront the way so many of us talk about race when what we are actually talking about is class.

  75. Oh man. I have nothing substantive to add to this discussion, I just want to express my enormous love for the phrase (and the idea described by) “fat tango mob”!

    FAT TANGO MOB. Seems like something everyone should see at least once in their life.

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