Cheesesteak miscue

I must have missed this when it first broke, but apparently presidential candidate John Kerry went into Philly a few weeks ago and ordered a cheese steak–with swiss cheese. Read about some more inane campaign trail faux pas from Slate:

If John Kerry loses the election, a reporter once told me, we’ll probably be able to blame it on the mistakes he makes while trying to sprinkle local color into his speeches. The Badger State boasts Kerry’s most famous slip of the tongue: the time he declared his love for “Lambert Field,” suggesting that the state’s beloved Green Bay Packers play their home games on the frozen tundra of the St. Louis airport. But there have been others: his shout-out to the “Buckeyes” while campaigning in Michigan, or his announcement in Canonsburg, Pa., that he would like to go to a local restaurant that doesn’t let its customers choose their entrees, because he has a hard time making up his mind about what to eat. In a slightly different category, but in the same vein, was Kerry’s request in Philadelphia for Swiss, rather than cheese whiz, on his Philly cheesesteak.

Kerry Puts the Gloves On – The “rope-a-dope” strategy reaches its logical conclusion.

I don’t want to get political here, but Kerry must be nuts to order a cheesesteak with swiss. I’ve never heard of it before. In Philly, whiz is the default–in Atlantic City, it’s American (my favorite) or provolone.

Check out this political ad which seizes on the campaign trail misstep. I thought it was a joke at first, but apparently it is a real 527. I don’t know, and I don’t care anymore.

I think it’s kind of silly when millionaires on both sides of the aisle play at being just one of the folks during election season. Kerry seems to have got caught doing this more–when I first saw him snowboarding, I was watching the news late at night and it looked so goofy I thought it was a dream or something. Then, a week ago, I saw him goose hunting. That looked even goofier.

Two nights ago, when I was in Mississippi, I really did have a dream about Kerry–at least I think it was a dream. In the dream, he came into my room, picked up an acoustic guitar, and sang a song (sorry, but I don’t remember the lyrics). He then asked me to vote for him. When I said I would think about it, he got really offended. I then went into the explanation, seen on Da Ali G Show, that in this country, we don’t have to publicly proclaim our votes, and that many people make it a habit to keep their secret ballot secret.

Speaking of Democratic candidates doing goofy things on TV, does anyone remember Dukakis in the tank? I actually met Michael Dukakis when I was at UCLA. He had an appointment in the Public Policy department, and I sat in one a lecture, which was absolutely brilliant. So the next week, as I was on my way to see my dissertation chair, Eric Monkonnen, I run into Prof. Dukakis in the hallway.

Do I say, “Hello, Governor Dukakis. It’s an honor to meet you,” or something like that? Do I ask him about the finer points of public service, or the dynamics of balancing political concerns with budgetary realities? Do I say, “You’ve got a great class. I’m going to sign up next time it’s offered?”

No, instead, the best I can offer is a quick grin and “Howzit goin?” When Gov. Dukakis responded it was going rather well, I shrugged appreciatively and said “see you around” before ducking into the public policy office.

“See you around.” Face to face with a political icon, whose teaching I really admired, and that was the best I could do.

Anyway, he might have caught a lot of flak for riding in the tank, but he was pretty adept at handling a clueless grad student. That’s something, unfortunately, you don’t see plastered all over the TV.

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