The Ohio State Fair starts on July 24 and runs through August 4. Time to get your fill of corn dogs, elephant ears, cotton candy, and this year’s newest culinary invention — maple bacon ice cream.
This sign appeared, by the way, on “Commit to be Fit” Way next to City Hall.
Conservative favorite Michele Bachmann, a Representative from Minnesota, has announced that she won’t seek reelection.
How quickly the wheel can turn! In the space of two years, Bachmann goes from running for President, to being an also-ran for President, to being investigated for campaign spending issues, and now to deciding that she won’t seek another term in Congress. She says her decision not to run again has nothing to do with such issues, and that she will continue to be a leading voice for conservative causes.
We can take her decision to not seek reelection at face value, and concede that it has nothing to do with any of the issues surrounding her campaign. However, we also can recognize that everything took a turn for the worse once Bachmann was photographed eating a corn dog at some summer political event. She blindly ignored arguably the best political advice ever offered: never be photographed eating a corn dog. And once she did it, it all went to hell.
The Curse of the Corn Dog strikes again!
Yesterday, Michele Bachmann ended her campaign after a bad showing in Iowa. In reality, she was doomed as soon as she violated a cardinal rule of politics — she was photographed eating a corn dog. It’s no surprise that Rick Perry, who also has violated that rule, has struggled to attract votes, too.
I’m sure Bachmann rues the day she was tempted by the fatal foodstuff. In recognition of the end of her campaign, I composed the following verse:
Curse Of The Corn Dog
O! Curs’d dog, covered in corn
I ate you once, now I’m forlorn
My photograph, with mouth agape,
Became the stuff of cruel jape
The image stuck, was not forgotten
And led to thoughts much misbegotten
I broke the rule of campaign decorum
If only I had been Santorum!
It should be a basic rule of politics: never be photographed eating a corn dog.
During the state fair season, it’s inevitable that politicians will visit the fair. And when they are there, the politicians will want to do whatever it takes to show that they can identify with and understand the concerns of their fellow fairgoers. What better way to communicate that you aren’t some ivory tower, out-of-touch, upper-class twit than by eating some fair food along with the rest of the dusty masses? And, of course, the corn dog is the most basic fair food item of all.
It therefore shouldn’t be surprising that staffers think having the candidate eat a corn dog seems like a fine idea. The problem, however, is that there is no graceful way to eat a corn dog. Obviously, you don’t use a knife and fork. It is an awkward culinary object, and most people don’t eat them regularly.
As a result, every picture you see of a politician gobbling a corn dog looks funny and unflattering. Some are worse than others — Michele Bachmann’s recent photo, above, would be hard to top — but they all look bad. When you think about it, Rick Perry’s photo to the left isn’t really much better.
If I wear running a campaign, I’d impose a no corn dog rule. Munching on elephant ears, hot dogs, and ears of corn all are perfectly capable of communicating the “everyman” message, without running the risk of the dreaded corn dog photo.