Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Kerry's Big Philadelphia Cheese(mis)steak

Take note, all you budding campaign advisors. When campaigning on the road, do not allow your candidate to offend the locals with his sissy yankee ways. Kerry tried to lose his Massachusetts-liberal upper-class ivy-covered reputation by swaggering into the legendary Pat's Steaks in Philly for a cheesesteak. But then, oh then. He ordered his cheesesteak with swiss cheese.
"It will doom his candidacy in Philadelphia," predicted Craig LaBan, food critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Philly cheesesteaks come with Cheez Whiz, or occasionally American or provolone. But Swiss cheese? "In Philadelphia, that's an alternative lifestyle," LaBan explained.

And don't even mention Kerry's dainty bites. "Obviously, Kerry's a high-class candidate, and he misread the etiquette," LaBan said. "Throwing fistfuls of steak into the gaping maw, fingers dripping -- that's the proper way."

But this particular encounter ended without turning ugly, thanks largely to the gracious mercy of the owner, and his obvious familiarity with presidential candidates:
The owner of Pat's Steaks, Frank Olivieri, was forgiving, though he points out that Bill Clinton and Al Gore knew to ask for Whiz. "It happens," he said. "I swayed him to the Cheez Whiz. If you're eating in Philadelphia, you eat what I serve you."

(Link via Pokitical Aims. And while you're over there, read Amy Sullivan's blistering response to Rich Lowry's Washington Post op-ed in which he whines about Liberals failing to buy into Bush's "compassionate conservativism." It's brutal and it's gooooooood.)


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