January 30, 2008 5:11 AM

The stuff that Presidents and statemen are made of...or not

Huckabee on Romney’s Fried Chicken Moment

Mitt Romney took a stop off the trail Saturday, and shared a meal with his traveling press corps. The food? Colonel Sanders’ fried chicken, and biscuits. Romney, known for his healthy eating habits, however, pulled off the skin. For some Southerners, a culinary faux pas. Today, FNC asked Huckabee, how he as a Southerner, and someone who is also known for his healthy diet (Huckabee famously lost 110 pounds) eats the calorically-colossal, but Southern gastronomic mainstay…. “Going thru the weight loss program I try to eat it more broiled, and baked but I can tell you this: any Southerner knows that if you’re not gonna eat the skin, don’t bother with calling it fried chicken,”Huckabee said through a smile.” And that’s good, I’m glad to hear that he did that because that means I’m going to win Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma- all these great Southern states that understand that the best part of fried chicken, is the skin.”

I’m not at all certain what eating fried chicken “properly” has to do with ANYTHING, especially becoming President. When you’re a distant third (or fourth, depending on your perspective) in the GOP field, I suppose you’re going to be looking for any advantage you can get. Hey, I don’t blame Romney for removing the skin from his fried chicken. I can relate; I find chicken skin disgusting. Perhaps it has something to do with plucking chickens as a child after my father had massacreed them. (You know that old saw about “running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off”? It’s true. There are few things creepier than watching a headless chicken running around your yard at breakneck speed and spewing blood in all directions. I understand why people become vegetarians.) There’s something about having to pluck pinfeathers off tacky, smelly chicken skin that just ruined it for me. I don’t mind chicken, but I can’t stand chicken skin. Yeah, I’m a Yankee…so sue me.

I did get a kick out of Huckabee’s story about Gerald Ford trying to eat a tamale, husk and all. I can laugh, because I’ve done exactly the same thing. When I first moved to Texas, one of my coworkers brough tamales into the office one day. Being your basic Yankee carpetbagger, I had no idea what to do. I’d never seen, much less eaten a tamale before. After a few minutes of staring at it and contemplating it from all directions, I figured “Ah, what the Hell….” I picked up the tamale, and bit into it as my coworkers were rolling on the floor laughing at me. Yep, that was a corn husk, all right, and I’m here to tell you that that was NOT how you’r supposed to eat a tamale. Apparentely, you’re supposed to UNWRAP the filling from the corn husk. Surprisingly enough, if you do that, tamales are actually quite tasty. Who knew?

Hey, if Mitt Romeny wants to eat his fried chicken without the skin, leave the man alone. He’s a Yankee; what else would you expect from him? It’s not like he’s suddenly going to develop a taste for okra and turnip greens. And it’s not like it’s going to have any impact on his ability to win primaries in Southern states on Super Tuesday.

And if I hear Mike Huckabee talk about his weight loss one more time, I think I’m going to puke.

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on January 30, 2008 5:11 AM.

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