In the next day or so I’ll put up a post concerning dollars – that is to say, the estimated $300 million that Sen. Barack Obama may raise for his campaign, now that he has reversed his previous position and become the first major-party presidential candidate since 1972 to forego public funding – but for now, it’s time for a discussion of doughnuts.
Specifically, the sort that turn up on the cover of the June 25 issue of The New Republic. (Though this issue has just been succeeded by the new one it can probably still be found at bookstores all over the country.) About 10 days back I posted concerning Michael Crowley’s article in this issue regarding the vice-presidential prospects of former Sen. Sam Nunn. At that time I saw the postage-stamp-size online reproduction of the cover, and saw that it was headed “Gentlemen, Choose Your Vice” (referring to several articles inside weighing the pros and cons of various Veep prospects) and showed Sen. John McCain and Obama on a park bench, though I couldn’t determine what they were doing. But it wasn’t until today that I saw the actual magazine. It turned out to depict Obama smoking a cigarette, with some butts at his feet – referring to his longtime habit, which he was now combating by chewing nicotine gum (even when entering Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown for Tim Russert’s funeral mass).
And, on the cover, McCain is helping himself to a box of doughnuts on his lap – Krispy Kremes. This got my attention at once. Krispies, as they are commonly known throughout the South, are great favorites with me and my wife – especially when consumed hot, fresh from the one DC-area Krispy Kreme location at Dupont Circle. Could it be that, one of these Saturday or Sunday mornings, I could expect to see the Republican nominee there?
So I did some Googling, and, unfortunately, found that Sen. McCain, in real life, does that seem to have an appetite for these flavorful items. What the designer of the cover seems to be referring to is that, in April at an appearance at a luncheon for newspaper editors sponsored by the Associated Press, the gentleman from Arizona was ceremonially presented with a box of doughnuts. As in Dunkin’ Donuts, whose edibles are not well regarded by my better half (though she thinks the chain’s coffee is better than average). This opinion is shared by many throughout the South. My urgent advice to the Senator, then, is that he switch to Krispies by way of helping to secure states such as Virginia and Florida.
(It’s worth mentioning that this particular issue of The New Republic is sprinkled with colorful anecdotes about vice presidents through history. One that caught my eye concerned a Veep I discussed earlier this week. During his second term, President Theodore Roosevelt was annoyed by the tinkling of a chandelier in the White House. He summoned a butler. “Remove this and put it up in the Vice President’s office,” he ordered, referring to Charles W. Fairbanks. “He needs something to keep him awake.”