Much has been made about presidential eating and drinking habits. We know the Obamas are extremely health-conscious (especially our first lady); Bill Clinton was known to enjoy home-cooked Southern comfort classics; and George W. Bush made sure to work out and keep his heart healthy. But presidential candidate Donald Trump has not tried to hide his unusual preference for fast food. He’s made comments about enjoying McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish and has been seen indulging in KFC fried chicken with a knife and fork.
Although his love of fast food has garnered titters of criticism for health reasons, political experts suggest this greasy-napkin image caters toward his voter base. It helps to create this juxtaposition of the highbrow-lowbrow brand Trump has become known for in this race. He’s the jet-setting billionaire who loves French fries and soda.
“There’s nothing more American and more of-the-people than fast food,” Russ Schriefer, a Republican strategist and ad maker, told The New York Times. “It is the peculiarity of the brand that he’s able to be on his multimillion-dollar jet with the gold and black branding and colors, and at the same time eat KFC — and what makes it perfect is he does it all with a knife and fork, while reading The Wall Street Journal.”
The New York Times suggests that much like his presidential campaign, Trump’s culinary image is undisciplined, devil-may-care, and brash.
“In an era of gourmet dining and obsession with healthy ingredients,” The Times wrote, “Mr. Trump is a throwback to an earlier, more carefree time in American eating, when nobody bothered to ask whether the tomatoes were locally grown, and the first lady certainly didn’t have a vegetable garden, complete with a bee hive, on the South Lawn of the White House.”