Obama: Broccoli is My Favorite Food; Disbelief Sparks Broccoligate

Image: Obama: Broccoli is My Favorite Food; Disbelief Sparks Broccoligate

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 02:27 PM

By Michael Mullins

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President Obama says broccoli is his favorite food. But that's hard to believe, and so his comments have sparked a controversy some are calling Broccoligate.

During an unscheduled appearance at the second annual Kids' State Dinner, the president responded to a child's inquiry as to what his favorite food was by telling the inquisitive youth it was broccoli.

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Observers were quick to question the sincerity of the president's admission, with the Washington Post noting how Obama is often photographed wolfing down a hot dog, hamburger, or slice of pizza.

In February, however, the first lady described their home as a "broccoli household" to Yahoo! News, the Post reported.

News over the admission soon spread like wildfire over social media, with pundits and political advisors attempting to outwit one another on Twitter.

Perhaps the most insightful and comical tweets came from the Slate's Dave Weigel and Comedy Central.

The Kids' State Dinner is organized by first lady Michelle Obama as part of her "Let's Move" initiative, aimed at promoting healthy eating for kids to combat childhood obesity rates that have tripled in America over the past 30 years, according to the White House.

Speaking before the 54 children, who won healthy food recipe contests to attend the event, the president said, "Food can be fun, it can be healthy. You are setting up habits that are going to be great your entire life."

As for his apparent vegetable obsession, Obama told the youths that healthy food can also taste good, adding "[N]ow I actually like vegetables because they’re prepared right."

The media response to Obama's broccoli admission is reminiscent of his arugula comment during the 2008 presidential campaign. Arugula, an expensive, peppery-tasting gourmet salad green, allowed conservatives to paint the then-presidential nominee as an out-of-touch elitist.

Obama's apparent love for broccoli also put him at odds with former Republican President George H.W. Bush, who in 1990 aboard Air Force One famously said, "I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli."

Responding the Bush's declaration, broccoli growers sent 20,000 tons of the green veggie to the White House, the Wall Street Journal notes.

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Related stories:

First Lady Pushes Jay Leno to eat Healthy Foods

Michelle Obama Unwittingly Misleading Kids on Obesity

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