|AL -||Seale Ballenger||DE -||Max Bernstein||NJ -||Alan Zweibel|
|AK -||Alan Rader||GA -||Amy Ephron||NY -||Diane Sokolow|
|AZ -||Betsy Sokolow Sherman||William Hedgepeth||Robert Zarem|
|AR -||Kaki Hockersmith||ID -||James W. Davis||ND -||Carla Christofferson|
|Katherine Reback||IL -||Robert Keats||& Kathy Goodman|
|CA -||Laraine Newman||KA -||Jan Emamian||OK -||Max Bernstein|
|CO -||Lisa Demberg||MA -||Amy Spies||TN -||Carol Caldwell|
|CT -||Genevieve Cerf||David Wolf||Cotty Chubb|
|MN -||Sue Doeden||UT -||Alexis Johnson|
|MT -||Max Bernstein|
There was great elation at Elaine’s last night that Giuliani was so resoundingly defeated in the Florida Republican Primary that he resigned from the Presidential race.
When he became Mayor, he posted a notice at City Hall forbidding all city administration personnel from going to Elaine’s because Bill Bratton, the Police Commissioner, whose popularity soared beyond Giuliani’s was constantly being written about hanging out at Elaine’s.
When you ask politicians to provide their favorite recipes, you can bet you’re going to get something laced, maybe dripping, with political undertones, because, well, because that’s what politicians do. So when I asked two of Arizona’s most powerful pols, Senator John McCain and Governor Janet Napolitano, the former the current GOP frontrunner for president, the latter a trailblazer and potential candidate for vice president for the Democrats, I had to consider their selections a little bit more than just food.
I live in Arkansas though my political interests extend well beyond my state. My husband Max and I have entertained politicians and their faithful followers on many occasions. In the South we open our homes for such events with no thought of using restaurants, hotels or any other such impersonal locations. It was Bill Clinton this morning for breakfast with an enthusiastic group of Hillary’s supporters. The southern spin on the menu included sausages in puff pastry and creamy cheese grits. We boxed food for the road as President Clinton moved on to south Arkansas rallies.
I love politics but I love it mixed with creative decorations, food and some measure of frivolity. I often incorporate enlarged political cartoons on my tables or hang funny caricatures and signs from the loggia ceiling. I once had a word-game contest at a debate watching party. Another invitation encouraged folks to bring their favorite cartoons so we could poll the guests for the best. At one of the events we hosted during Wes Clark’s campaign, I mossed a topiary donkey for the centerpiece of the dining table and gave the food political names like “caucus canapés” and “primary pasta.”
My first memory of a Presidential election was the Nixon/ Kennedy race.
I was 8-years-old and the rally song to the tune of “Whistle While You Work” told me everything I thought I needed to know about politics:
Whistle While You Work
Nixon is a Jerk
Eisenhower has no power
Kennedy’s going to work.
Not very clever come to think of it. My folks were liberal Democrats and Kennedy was their man.
One of the prostitutes who lived across the hall from my wife and me was the person who introduced us to the Honey Lounge, a working class bar across the street from the Prudential Center in Boston. She and her pimp had apparently had a small disagreement about money and she hid out in our apartment while he pounded on her door and threatened to kill her. The following night, their dispute resolved, they brought us a pizza as compensation for our kindness. The pimp said it was from the Honey Lounge, the best pizza in the city.
We thought so, too. In the days before the elevation of pizza into some sort of fussy gourmet high art the Honey Lounge understood what its patrons wanted: more crust, more cheese, more tomato sauce, more meat and not an artichoke heart or a leaf of arugula in sight, served in a dark dingy room where we often got the added thrill of being the only yuppies in the place. And there was a bonus. The Honey Lounge also had the best donuts in town, incongruously light and fluffy, and from the first bite a permanent part of our weekend routine.
The revolutionary notion first took shape at – and as a result of – the Wild Hog Supper, an annual tradition held each January at the cavernous Georgia Freight Depot, virtually in the shadow of the Gold Dome of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, to celebrate the onset of the first session of the Georgia General Assembly, otherwise jokingly referred to as our Legislature.
The solons who convened here in this lively atmosphere – immediately prior to Super Tuesday – were uniformly filled with the full flush of convivial spirits: feed-and-seed dealers, clientless rural lawyers, insurance salesmen, chiropractors, "consultants," auto mechanics and lay preachers. And then, of course, there is the governor, Sonny Perdue, a veterinarian.
In 1960, you still had to be twenty-one to vote for president, so there it was, a first for me. And there was that sun-shiny John F. Kennedy, running for president against the perspiring "devil". My boy-friend (soon to be my husband but I didn't know it yet) and I invited the same group over to watch the returns that had been with us to watch the infamous tv debate.
We thought we were such hot shots. People over for dinner. Sitting on the floor. Loads of beer and something we all seemed to like then– sangria. And chili.
Chili. Something our mothers never made. Something that was hip, and cheap, and could feed twenty people. That's what we made the night of the debate, and that's what we were making again. After all, we did have a big spaghetti pot. And we had an assortment of un-matched soup bowls. And almost all the spoons we would need.
Anchorage, Alaska has some of the best restaurants in the world. Especially if you like salmon. Years ago, I spent a summer in Anchorage-it was the Exxon Valdez trial, and it went on for months. I remember some things about the trial.
I remember everything about the dinners, which isn't particularly remarkable, as I had the exact same thing-in different restaurants-every night (except for this one place where I always ordered venison).
Dinner always started with Caesar salad, apparently an Alaskan favorite. The best was made table-side at the Marx Brothers Cafe. I was last there the first week of September 2001, when my son and I stopped in before being flown into the wilderness. (How we got out is another story.)
I live in Groton Long Point, an insular, happily stuck-in-the-50s beach community, predominantly Republican. There’s a sweet little town next door called Noank, another of our New England miracles, formerly a small fishing village, at the mouth of the Mystic River. Carson's Store is in the heart of Noank and it’s where the regulars and summer visitors gather for breakfast or lunch, or the occasional fund-raising soup or fish 'n chips dinner. Friday nights in the summer, they have musical events outside the store and everyone brings chairs and tables and picnics which they set up on both sides of the street. Traffic and stray cats are never regulated in Noank, so the cars just pick their way carefully through the musical events and the audience.
The Super Bowl is much more important than Super Tuesday in Noank and in Groton Long Point. "My" Republicans, as I like to call them, as if they were fractious children who have to be taught "King and I" fashion, are in disarray right now. Some are leaning toward Romney, probably mainly on the grounds that anyone who has been the Governor of a state which has produced the miracle of the Patriots and the Red Sox can't be all that bad. They'll also be OK voting for McCain and staying in Iraq, as some of the more candid ones readily admit "Face it, we need the oil"...