Jeb Bush wants to be your president. The lesser Bush, who’s in politics but hasn’t risen much higher than trying to “streamline the execution process” in Florida, knows that there are two things Americans really care about when it comes to voting for the leader of their country: issues and a trim body that any Republican would be proud to spank it to.
The New York Times just ran a fascinating — if very weird — piece on Bush and his dreams of power, focusing on both his plan to ascend to the Oval Office as well as his struggle to decrease his body mass, making him as fit as his father and brother. While other presidential candidates will be sitting down for pancake breakfasts (why is this still a thing?) and slabs of pie with prospective constituents, Bush will be satisfying himself with chicken and a sick pit of emptiness in his stomach — which is good, because he’ll be used to that awful sinking feeling when he fails to wrestle the presidency away from the rest of the 5,000 Republicans who are running.
Here’s what it looks like when a Bush goes on Paleo:
The rigid abstemiousness runs the risk of putting him at a dietary distance from an American electorate that still binges on carbohydrates and, after eight years of a tea-sipping president, craves a relatable eater-in-chief.
Breaking bread with Iowans? Try having almonds, Mr. Bush’s preferred high-protein snack food.
Bonding over hamburgers in New Hampshire? How about salad with grilled chicken, his monotonous go-to lunch.
During a meeting with veterans in Colorado Springs a few days ago, a thick stack of pancakes was placed in front of Mr. Bush at an IHOP, along with a second platter of eggs, bacon and hash browns. The veterans dug in. Mr. Bush left his breakfast untouched, to the disappointment of the restaurant’s staff.
This, I do not blame him for. IHOP makes the worst pancakes in the world, which is ironic considering that the word pancakes is literally in their name and yet each one still tastes like a rough heap of thick sludge freshly scooped from the raw sewage that runs swiftly beneath our feet.
And it’s not just IHOP workers that are noticing Bush’s new body; even the food industry professionals that have known him before paleo are whispering about his dedication to getting thin.
Nino Pernetti, the owner of Caffe Abbracci, a popular power-lunch spot in Coral Gables, Fla., where Murano glass sculptures stud the walls and Miami politicians fill the seats, noticed the changes immediately (an untouched bread basket; a less jowly face).
But, bound by what he said was the unspoken diplomacy of an Italian restaurateur, he dutifully delivers Mr. Bush’s sautéed branzino with clams and mussels (hold the risotto) without commentary.
“You don’t want to say, ‘A year ago you were chubby,’ ” he said.
“You say nothing,” he added. “Of course I see it. I notice it.”
There are no words.
Perhaps there is something telling about this profile of Bush in The Times. While thousands of words focus on how he’s handling french fries and pie — he’s not finishing a whole slice — there are precious few words about the issues on which he’ll be running. And that just may be because they’re unimportant, or very unattractive. No matter how thin Bush gets, his ideas on the death penalty and immigration reform are unlikely to win him as many votes as he might like. (At least, I hope. As my colleague Kelly Faircloth points out, however: “America is wack.”)
Image via Getty
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