Seeing that the February 5th primary in California will actually matter for the first time in way too many election cycles, presidential candidates and their supporters are out stumping at key Bay Area cornerstones. Or, should I say that they're actually paying attention to us, the Left Coasties, because maybe JUST MAYBE our votes are finally going to count for something? (For instance, Chelsea returns to her alma mater, but pisses people off by making herself available only to lucky Greeks. In the hopes of being granted Chelsea face-time, some of her disappointed fans even missed out on Lake Tahoe ski trips -- oh noes!)
As a result of our becoming the girl who is suddenly hot when she takes off her glasses and lets her hair hang down, California's eating establishments have now become ripe targets for candidate glad-handing. The trite salt-of-the-earth diner has long been the choice site for retail politicking in down-home places like Iowa and New Hampshire, but it's a bit weird to think of our favorite hot spots being used for the same purpose.
For instance, just this past week, Bill Clinton was in Oakland and made national "news" because of a pointed exchange he had with ABC7's Mark Matthews. The locale? None other than Everett & Jones barbeque, where he also held a roundtable discussion, plumping up his wife's campaign while he plumped up his waistline with E&J's succulent ribs. How true to both his SNL persona and his storied connections with the African-American community for him to choose that particular location for a photo-op.
Matier and Ross also reminded us this week about the California Dem vote being split between the beer-drinkers and the wine and cheese crowd. As they report it, Hillary has the ear of the blue-collar beer drinkers (mostly downstate, they note), while Obama wraps up the liberal wine-and-cheesers.
This got me thinking, does this mean Barack Obama needs to go to The French Laundry to answer Clinton in kind? Or better yet, given his now-infamous 2007 arugula remark in Iowa, he could set up camp at the Ferry Building -- where everyone will always know the price of arugula.