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Obama’s Contenders for White House Chef

Now that victory has come and gone for President-elect Barack Obama, it’s time for him to start looking ahead and contemplating heavy decisions that are facing our nation’s new leader.

There’s the economy, two wars, precarious relations with Iran and Pakistan. And there’s this: who is going to be cooking the meals in the White House next year?

I know, it’s a pressing issue that will be a defining moment in Obama’s first term. So, who is in the running?

The New York Daily News reported last weekend that there are three chefs under consideration for the Obamas’ White House chef. They are former Oprah chef Art Smith, authentic Mexican chef Rick Bayless (not sure who has the corner on inauthentic chef), and NBA star Carmelo Anthony’s personal chef, Daniel Young.
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Presidential Dimensions, Large and Small

Most of us, at least those enthralled by our civic duty and the future of our country, are busy with voting and watching history unfold tonight. But if you happen to be in our little corner of the World Wide Web, I have a nifty little tidbit for you, one actually related to politics- a chart of the height and weight of every president in the history of the U.S.

Maybe it’s just for political wonks, but I thought it was interesting. It compares the two major candidates in each election, and taller men (and heavier) usually come out of it as the winner. We’ll see if that plays out tonight. Click on the image for a larger view:



Presidential Candidates and Running Mates in Good Health

Joe Biden is the most recent candidate whose medical records have been made public. The Obama/Biden campaign released his records this week, indicating that Joe Biden is in good health. The 65-year old Senator is currently on an aspirin regimen to manage an irregular heart rhythm, found just more than two years ago. He does not have heart disease. He also takes Flomax to manage an enlarged prostate (no signs of cancer), allergy medicine and Zocor to lower his cholesterol. The report states that he has not had another brain aneurysm since the two in the late-80s.

Barack Obama did not provide a full medical report, but did publish a doctor’s note, which indicated he is in “excellent health and ready to serve as president.”
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Obama’s Diet vs. McCain’s Diet

Tonight is round two of the presidential debates, and we can expect plenty of mudslinging on issues, from the war in Iraq to the economy (especially the economy!). One thing we definitely can bank on not hearing are their views on food.

The CheapHealthyGood blog has broken down the culinary issues and gives us the lowdown on where Obama and McCain stand.

Who has the most substance when it comes to sustenance? Most of the post is about serious matters. But it also examines the candidates’ favorite dishes. Let’s look at the fun stuff – their favorite foods! You can find all the source material to verify the authenticity of these assertions at the CheapHealthyGood blog.

Favorite Foods:

McCain - Apparently he isn’t too keen on watching his waistline, his favorites include enchiladas, pizza, BBQ and shrimp.

Obama - It looks as though this candidate is more in tune with a healthy diet, preferring to eat vegetables like spinach and broccoli, nuts, Dentyne Ice gum, and handmade milk chocolates from Fran’s Chocolates in Seattle.

Least Favorite Foods:

McCain - Says he doesn’t “do too well with vegetables.”

Obama - Skips salt and vinegar potato chips and mayo, will eat beets and asparagus only “if no other vegetables are available,” and drinks water over soda.

When they do indulge, how do they burn it off? Take a look here and find out which presidential candidate is more fit.

related: Michael Pollan Says the Next President Will Have to Focus on Food, and He’s Got Just the Policy



Who’s More Physically Fit To Be President?

Is Obama pandering to the fitness vote? Is there even a fitness lobby to pander to?

All kidding aside, Presidential health is one of the underdog issues in the campaign. A few days ago The New York Times did a piece on how Barack Obama was “caught” going to the gym three times in one day.McCain vs. Obama

An Associated Press report jokingly compared Obama’s fitness regimen to that of Mr. Universe. His campaign gives what seems to be a good enough explanation, if there even has to be one:

Mr. Obama went to his regular gym appointment in the morning, but was interrupted by a telephone call, so he went back later to finish the workout. He met with his trainer at the East Bank Club to check on a sore hip.

But the real fun begins when you see the partisan bickering in the comments section. In the age of 24 hour news, every minutia is analyzed and analyzed again. In this case, die-hard opponents can even find fault in Obama’s fitness habits.

John McCain’s age and health have been a concern to some. By and large, it does seem that his overall health was vetted a few months back when the candidates had to open their medical records. And if he does little to no real exercise, it would be understandable considering he is a 71-year-old man whose leg was shattered when his plane was shot down in Vietnam, and then he was subsequently imprisoned and tortured for five years.

Does fitness play a part in who is fit to be Commander-in-Chief? We’ll see in November.

What are your thoughts?

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