The Curious Eating and Drinking Habits of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Field

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee revealed today that he has never tasted beer, according to a journalist for the Des Moines Register. The reason: he never liked the smell.


But placing the merits and demerits of beer aside for one moment — and lord knows there are strong arguments on both sides — it’s fair to say the former Arkansas governor is hardly the first of the 2016 U.S. presidential field to be forced by the rigors of the campaign to reveal questionable or curious habits of eating and drinking. Here are nine more:

1. Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has been known to keep an odd good luck charm in his suit pocket during the last two Democratic debates — a crab cake sandwich from his favorite Baltimore Inner Harbor eatery. O’Malley reportedly has no desire to end this tradition, or acquire a new, fresh sandwich, despite his competitors’ repeated complaints about the smell.

2. Perhaps the most surprising revelation among Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails is that the former secretary of state kept up a steady correspondence with the CEO of Nestle and was known to pitch him up to five jokes a day in hopes of landing one a coveted spot on a Laffy Taffy wrapper. Among Clinton’s most illuminating suggestions: “Q: Did you hear about the trousers taking the slacks to court? A: Yeah, it was a pants-suit.”

3. Earlier this year, the makers of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream pitched a new branded flavor to the campaign of their fellow Vermonter Bernie Sanders. The idea was eventually scuttled after it was revealed that Sanders views ice cream as the decadent opiate of the corporate class.

4. Following last week’s Republican presidential debate, Jeb Bush was seen sitting on a curb slowly eating a single slice of pizza with his head hung low.

5. In an impromptu speech delivered in an Iowa City Seven-Eleven, Dr. Ben Carson declared that as an undergrad at Yale, he personally discovered the burrito. When pressed to clarify this statement, Dr. Carson claimed to have also invented the follow-up question.

6. Ohio governor John Kasich has had the same popcorn kernel stuck between his back molars since 2002. Several dentists have suggested that Kasich have the kernel removed, but the candidate has demurred, claiming that without it, he wouldn’t know what to do with his tongue all day.

7. Rick Santorum’s campaign staff regularly spreads peanut butter on his gums before public appearances, as the senator’s attempts to lick his gums clean create the illusion that the senator is thinking about the words he wants to say next and what they mean individually and when combined together into a sentence.

8. When asked whether he had a favorite guilty pleasure snack, Senator Marco Rubio responded that there is nothing he enjoys more than kicking back with a big bowl of whatever food people in Iowa find the most relatable.

9. Current Republican front-runner Donald Trump keeps large quantities of bird seed in his pockets at all times, claiming that “it really is a fantastic way to gain a pigeon’s trust.” When asked why he needed to do so, Trump said he’d rather talk about the important issues facing modern America, like how Ted Cruz was born in Canada.

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