The presidential campaign trail is one strewn with unfulfilled hopes, broken promises, and babies whose foreheads are positively enveloped in old-man saliva. For Governor John Kasich, that wake also happens to include endless hoagies, rivers of pasta e fagioli, and a mountain of Old Navy khakis that stopped fitting long ago.
Kasich announced yesterday that he would be suspending his presidential campaign after having won the primary in only one state: his home state of Ohio. Perhaps the candidate's failure to gain more than a measly 66 delegates can be attributed to his novel campaign tactic: eating his way into the hearts of Americans. This ploy may not have gained him many voters, but we here at MUNCHIES certainly enjoyed his every bite. Here's a look back at many calories ingested in the name of true democracy.
Way back in August of last year, Kasich established himself as a lover of all things pork when he went to the Iowa State Fair and high tailed it to the Iowa Pork Producers tent. There he dug into a pork chop with gusto, setting the tone for a campaign that would be strong on pig.
Kasich's appreciation of traif was underlined when, in February of this year, the governor was photographed sneaking in some bacon on the down low in the back of a restaurant in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. His delight in the bacon can't be denied.
Our intrepid eater also took the time to stop by the historic Original Oyster House in Pittsburgh, PA and fervently told the owner to put a picture of him on the wall, stating that it would, "make his life."
Hot dogs? Check. Kasich loves them, as evidenced by his trip to Portillo's Hot Dogs in Chicago back in September of last year. There, he may not have been familiar with "giardiniera," the pickled vegetable topping that is popular in Chi-town, but he certainly looked like he enjoyed every bite of his meal. As usual.
While campaigning in New York, Kasich showed once again that he wasn't really up on local customs—but he sure likes to eat. At Gino's Pizzeria in Queens, Kasich pulled the classic "I'm not from New York" move by digging into a slice using a fork and knife, instead of folding it. When he caught flak on social media, he felt the pressure to explain himself in an appearance on "Good Morning America," where he said, "Look, look, the pizza came scalding hot, OK? And so I use a little fork."
But things were never the same for Kasich after the pizza episode—he knew he needed to play catch up in the eating department and that's just what he tried to do.
At a stop at PJ Bernstein Deli Restaurant in New York last month, Kasich gave a pickle-eating tutorial to anyone who would listen. Oddly, he recommended eating pickles with one's pinky in the air, as if enjoying a cup of tea with the Queen. In retrospect, that advice probably didn't help win over many voters.
Then, of course, there was Kasich's visit to the Arthur Avenue neighborhood of the Bronx, where he stuffed himself with an ungodly amount of Italian food. Did someone tell Kasich that the way to win delegates was to eat the most food of any candidate in a given state?
Donald Trump, who has now trounced Kasich and the other Republican wannabes, was not a fan of our eager eater's adventures. Trump said, "He has a news conference all the time when he's eating. I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion. This guy takes a pancake and he's shoving it in his mouth. It's disgusting."
So maybe eating your way across America is not the best way to win votes. But Kasich's hypnotizing appetites certainly endeared him to us in some regards. Here's hoping that he goes home to Ohio and enjoys a nice meal. Or several. He'll have a whole bunch of time to fill.