Monday, August 06, 2007

Obama: Let them eat California roll

Barak Obama asks a crowd in Iowa if they have noticed the price of arugula at Whole Foods? Problem No. 1: There is no Whole Foods store in all of Iowa. Problem No. 2: I suspect that when most folks in Iowa go to the grocery store, they just buy lettuce.

This disconnect reminds me of Governor Michael Dukakis who famously told Iowa farmers to grow Belgian endive. That lead to this spoof on SNL. The skit was a Democratic debate moderated by Pat Schroeder (played by Nora Dunn). Dukakis, you may recall, was played brilliantly by Jon Lovitz:

Pat Schroeder: Well.. [ starts to cry, but then breaks out into hysterical laughter ] Okay! Alright.. Now.. Governor Dukakis, your critics are doubting your ability to translate the Massachusetts Miracle to the rest of the nation. When you first came to Iowa, you suggested that the farmers try growing a different crop.. and you cited as your example, Belgian endive. Do you still feel that Belgian endive still is the answer to Iowa's economy?

Michael Dukakis: Pat, each of us here tonight is asking for America's leadership and trust, allowing us to lead the country. And I don't think you can lead without a vision.. and I have a vision for America. I see purple mountains of raddichio; I see verdant valleys of arugula; I see escarole from sea to shining.. [ timer sounds ] ..sea. I know I'm running out of time, so let me conclude that with direction, purpose, a little oil and vinegar, and maybe some feta cheese, there is nothing we cannot do. Thank you.


Display Name said...

You presume that an Iowan doesn't know what Whole Foods is, or what arugula is? The original piece is less biased and spun, and shows that Obama readily admitted he was no expert on agriculture.

In 1992, GHW Bush expresses "never seen that before" amazement at a laser-scanning grocery check-out. Then there's the "price of milk" question. Always a favorite question for a lazy reporter. In April 2007, Guiliani thinks "A gallon of milk is probably about a $1.50, a loaf of bread about a $1.25, $1.30." Maybe someday we'll have a candidate who answers "2% or whole, with or without price supports and counting the ag subsidies?"

Anonymous said...

Now that the Shark heads into the Ivory Tower, the elitism has been turned up a notch.

Did you hear about the Iowan who was too stupid to know what gelato was?

Oh, never mind, you've probably heard this one before.

Rick Esenberg said...

I don't see why Iowans should be familiar with Whole Foods since there isn't one in the entire state. I am not suggesting that they don't "know about" arugula. But do they care?

Display Name said...

Well, there's only two in Wisconsin, one in Madison, one in Milwaukee, both not far from the UW campuses. Would it have made a difference if he'd said a different grocery's name? Think they sell arugula at Hy-Vee? I was in a big grocery in Dubuque a few weeks ago and it compared quite well with the bigger stores in Madison and Milwaukee.

Rick Esenberg said...

It's not about Iowa. It's about Obama.

Terrence Berres said...

I presume Iowans know "GHW Bush amazed by laser scanner" made the urban legends pages.