Election Connection

Regular or Decaf?

We all make hundreds of choices every day, but the one we'll make collectively on November 4 is the biggest as a nation that we get to make for the next four years. And everyone from Madison Avenue to Main Street is getting in on the game.

Some of the best election-related marketing gimmicks we've seen are around food.

One restaurant in Washington, D.C. (Good Stuff Eatery, of Top Chef fame), is taking a poll between two burgers, the McCain and the Obama.

(photo credit: Dan Haggerty)

The Obama burger is ahead at the moment, 369 to 143 for McCain at last count. It's actually not too far off the latest projected electoral vote counter on Yahoo's Political Dashboard  which Tuesday predicted 344 votes for Obama and 167 for McCain.

D.C. food blog Metrocurean has a lengthy roundup of the creative candidate foods that Washington establishments have thought up, from sushi rolls to wine flights.

In Los Angeles, a cafe has a pretty one-sided cocktail list going. While a recent USA Today article details how hotels are distinguishing themselves this election season by offering red or blue drinks on arrival, or entire voting-themed packages.

Even Baskin Robbins is featuring seasonal flavors Straight Talk Crunch and Whirl of Change.

One of the largest efforts is from convenience store chain 7-Eleven, which is asking customers to choose their candidate by the cup and having stores tally the results on the 7-Election web site. Nationally, Obama cups have the lead at 59%. The map lets you see who's ahead in your state and provides links to national news sources.

Maybe we will be able to predict the outcome based on what kind of coffee you drink. But I'd like to think PBS viewers take a little deeper look at the candidates and the issues.

Tonight, Frontline premieres The Choice, an in-depth look at both Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, tracing their political histories and the rise to be their respective party's candidate. The film, which Frontline has produced for every election since 1988, will also be available to watch online, beginning at 9pm Tuesday.

But don't think PBS can't get in on the fun side of the election, too. For your midnight snack, try the newest flavor from Ben and Jerry's: Chocolate Lehrer Cake, named for NewsHour anchor and moderator of the first debate, Jim Lehrer.


Shamika said:

Hey and let's SPREAD THE WEALTH AROUND!!! those EVIL capitolists!! My hope is that McCain will ask Obama why the terrorist friend who proclaims that he wants to see the END of CAPITOLISM found Obama to be THE candidate Ayers wanted to help launch a political career for. That is the REAL question. And it would be valid to bring up 'O'bortion. Obama's version of abortion that says babies born alive are NOT babies. How does he really believe in such a HORRID practice and how has he convinced others of that EXTREME position being ok? It does NOT matter what anyone projects would be the next step in such a vote. What matters is the reality of the vote - which is 'KILL' the baby born alive. Stop falling for the double talk. Check out the track records. WAKE UP

Carter said:

Speaking of polls the company I work at is doing one based off of messages people post online, so sort of unsolicited polling. You can check it out at http://brandadvocacy08.com/ . I suppose its scary to have such a close ear to your online business but its also not as annoying as those phone calls :)

Missy Rosenberry said:

Speaking of midnight snacks -- and our upcoming presidential choice, as will be discussed in tonight's Frontline program -- when you go to your refrigerator tonight, step back and take a look at what you see in front of you. You can tell a lot about a person by looking at his or her fridge.

For example, here are some things you'll find on mine and what they say about me:

* A shopping list for "Aldi," a discount grocery store: I'm good at budgeting my family's grocery dollars.
* A schedule for Nazareth College events, where my son attends: I support higher education.
* A terrific report card from my daughter: I put a lot value in public education and insist my kids take it seriously.
* An "I'm an H20 Hero" magnet: I care about the environment.
* Three calendars: I can keep a busy family organized.
* Altar server schedules: our entire family is involved in our church.
* A PBS television schedule: I support public television.

Now, that's an amazing amount of information gleaned from one small part of a person's life. And if you think about it, that's a heck of a lot more than we know about either of the two presidential candidates or their VP picks, people we're going to be trusting with running our country and helping our families maintain the status quo.

So how about we ask each of the four candidates to take a picture of their refrigerators and publish them in the New York Times. Those simple photos could tell us more about their character than any stump speech or debate ever could.

Jose said:

The media said that Mr. McCain is behind, but when you guys said something different. When you guys do not critiocize him or Mr. Palin. But you look the other side about Mr. Obama and his connection with Pastor Jeremia Wright, and Mr. Ayers. The Media can sell you for ratings, and they rather prefer to show people such us Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and 50 cents, right. Talking about double standars, If the Liberals do not win the election this year, you guys better get another hobby and jobs. You, Liberals and the Media already have the economic crisis, housing crisis, the gas crisis to point your fingers as usual. Mr. McCain, I hope you could read this. I just want you to be yourself, a man of values and principals as you did in Hanoi Hilton.

Jose said:

I am a plumber, and I know how hard is going out there to make a living. We pay taxes, work compensation, employees, insurance and so on. Mr. Obama thinks that because I work hard to make a living, I should be exploid by a welfare system. This is not the American dream our fathers dreamed. I will vote for Mr. McCain and will campaign for him up to the last day.

Jeff Wa ldmann said:

The third and final debate was the best so far. What puzzles me is not so much the debate itself, but the remarks of the commentators following the debate. It seems to me that they have given the debate to Obama based his "demeanor', that he seemed "calm and collected". Yet they also admitted that Obama failed to come up with specific answers to specific questions. McCain did respond with his ideas for approaching some of the issues and was very specific with regard to several issues including trade and right to life and health care, making it very clear where he stood. A candidate may have a fine appearance and a "calm demeanor" but that does not, by itself, qualify him or her to be simply responding to McCain. The commentators seemed to make much of McCain's remarks on some of Obama's past associations although that segment only amounted to about 3 minutes out of a 90 minute debate, while they ignored the serious and clear arguments McCain made on the issues, whereas Obama simply repeated his past proposals that will somehow magically increase spending, reduce taxes for almost everybody and still ignore that because of the current crisis - the money just won't be there., and yet he refused to even hint at how this might affect his programs. I think McCain made an important point when he said that Obama is not running against Bush yet Obama kept talking about the "failures of the last 8 years", although the current crisis is the result of many eras af bad policies under both democrats and republicns. Also, I may be wrong but haven't the Democrats been in charge of Congress for the last 4 years, or were they asleep? There is plenty of blame for a series of presidents, incuding Clinton especially, and a series of Congresses, both Democratic and Republican, that have gotten us into this situation. Maybe it would be appropriate to quote a very wise man, Oliver Hardy, who said many times to Stanley Laurel "Well this is another nice mess you've gotten us into."
Jeff Waldmann

Terry Burns said:

Senator McCain has predicated his campaign on trashing Washington, his contemporaries, and party, while attempting to tag his "Honorable Opponent" (sic) for having failed to do so. I'm obsessed with why Senator Obama has failed to respond appropriately with..."JOHN, I AM A MEMBER OF A PARTY WITH WHOM I AM GENERALLY IN AGREEMENT, POLITICALLY, PHILISOPHICALLY, AND POLICYWISE; THEREFORE HAVING NO REASON TO RUN AWAY FROM OR DEFAME." Nuf' said!

DaveF in San Diego said:

With the exception of 2001-2002 when the Democrats held a one vote advantage in the Senate, the Republican Party has controlled both houses of Congress for 12 out of the last 14 years.

If Senator Obama was judged the winner of tonight's debate it was not based on personality. The economy is in a meltdown with worldwide ramifications following almost 30 years of Reagonomics. It's going to take someone with more vision than John McCain demonstrates to pull us out of the quagmire we've created. This is not going to be a "values" election unless one is thinking of economic values. That's why the McCain ticket is behind in the polls. The Republican Party is as bankrupt of ideas as the banks we're rushing to protect. To vote for another four years of a Republican administration is tantamount to the alcoholic going back to the liquor cabinet for another drink after waking to a horrendous hangover.

I'm casting my vote for education, character, vision and an expectation that Senator Obama will surround himself with the best minds available to help him guide his administration. I cannot trust Senator McCain to do the same given his choice of running mate, the people involved with his campaign, and his decision to campaign on mud slinging and character assassination rather than a sound platform.

Shanice said:

This is a real probelm. Some are going for the Obama burger and some are going for the McCain burger. Here is the thing people think that the Obama burger is going to get eaten, but we have the Biden fries. Biden has been around to know enough about politics and the elections that go on. On the Republican side the McCain burger is experienced but not so sure about the Palin poppers. If you are not sure about any information on the candidates then visit their websites. Obama/Biden(www.barackobama.com) and McCain/Palin(www.johnmccain.com).

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