Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cookie Election

I've been considering some of the serious issues facing us this election year, and trying to weigh the pros and cons of each candidate. Here are some of the factors I'm taking into consideration:
  • Barack Obama would be the coolest name ever for a president.
  • A McCain/Palin White House would be the prettiest White House yet. You've got McCain's hot wife and Abercrombie sons and "gorgeous golden girl" of a daughter. From watching his very melodramatic biography video at the convention, I see he used to be attractive too.
  • Barack is never gonna give me up.
  • McCain's daughter has this cool blog that makes me feel like I'm part of the campaign entourage.
  • Barack is black (but unfortunately male); Palin is female (but unfortunately white). If only a hispanic female or an Asian hermaphrodite was running, then I'd know how to vote.
  • Palin's husband is a speed racer and could be in the Alaska Man calendar. (And she, of course, could have been Miss Alaska.)
  • I like Michelle Obama's voice. She should read for books on tape.
  • Cindy McCain is a woman with style. She's like an older, posher Sandra Lee.

Had Clinton won the nomination, my choice would have been easy, because Billy-boy as First Lady trumps any other pro any other candidate could have put forth.

So, how's a girl to decide who to vote for? Cookies.

Each election year, Parent's magazine has a cookie contest. The candidate's spouses submit cookie recipes and the public votes. Those who have won the cookie contest have also won the past four elections. McCain won, but I wanted to find out for myself, so I made Cindy McCain's Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies and Michelle Obama's Shortbread cookies.
The Verdict

Shortbread cookies and oatmeal butterscotch cookies both happen to be some of my favorite cookies, so it's a hard choice.

Cindy's cookies were good. Heavy on the butterscotch chips and oatmeal. A nice, basic cookie. With so much butterscotch, though, I think the sweetness could have been helped by some raisins or something else to play against them, and I would have used less oats.

Michelle's shortbread was also good. A bit fancier, in that they call for amaretto liquor, lemon and organe zest, and cake flour (things I'm not fancy enough to keep in my pantry, so I had to buy them). They also called for a 17x12-inch pan, something I also don't have. I left the nuts and dried fruit off the top, because that sounds gross and dried fruit burns if you cook it that long. The cookies were good but also very basic. The zest and amaretto were hardly detectable, which is sad after spending $12 on a bottle of liquor.

So I'm afraid I have to side with Mrs. Cindy McCain. Both were good cookies, but one didn't stand out more than the other. And because Cindy's didn't ask me to buy liquor or zest lemons or use a pan few people own, she wins. Just put raisins in them if you make them.


Mike said...

I ate both cookies and enjoyed them both. Neither are perfect, and that's how I feel about the candidates. Each one gives you something. McCain's cookies had ana immediate leg up by being more traditional and using common, well-loved ingredients. Very tasty dough, too, especially before adding the chips and oats. Could have used something more than just butterscotch, though, like Amber said. I'm not a big shortbread fan, so Obama was at a disadvantage with me. However, I liked the flavor and texture more than a lot of shortbread. But they pretty much just tasted like plain Spritz cookies without the cute Christmas shapes. So not really too special, though enjoyable. So, neither quite blew me away, but if was going to reach for something I could rely on, I favored McCain.

But tonight I took some ice cream and stirred it up with a little chocolate syrup and crushed one of McCain's cookies into it and stirred that up. Delicious. So, McCain gets my vote. Sort of like how stirring McCain into the creamy sweet goodness of Palin makes the whole dish a lot tastier. Now that's politics.

Jon The Hart said...

"So I'm afraid I have to side with Mrs. Cindy McCain."

Don't be afraid to side with Mrs. McCain, she's pretty great and very non-threatening.

It's amazing to me how fickle the electorate is, a few months ago people wondered how Obama would overcome his racist pastor of 20 years and his ill-received quote regarding citizens in rural areas:

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

But, give it a month or two and nobody talks about those things, non-issues.

It's intriguing, I'm sure there are McCain parallels to those examples, I just can't think of any. Personally, I think the real determining factor in presidential elections is percieved athleticism.

This article highlights some of Kerry's sports gaffes and certainly helped cripple his campaign... Kerry Sports Gaffes

Also, this picture was prominent in the Kerry/Bush race, and it bolsters my theory.

This year, Obama went bowling to build a bridge to the common man, only, the common man doesn't bowl a 37. Bowling for Votes

The problem is probably less that they aren't good at a sport, than that they have this attitude of 'reaching out to the common man', which is pretty elitist. Or maybe it is just about perceived athleticism, I think McCain has that one locked up, since he's a war hero and 70-something.

Either way, whether it's cookies or athleticism, what the candidates say is of little importance. If Betty Crocker's husband had run for president... oh man, talk about a landslide.

Jon The Hart said...

Also, I transitioned poorly from my response to you and my other thought, in case it sounds like I'm calling you fickle, cuz I ain't. I'm not one for elegant segues or clear train of thought.

Amber said...

Wow, thank you for telling me about the bowling thing. That's going to weigh big in my decision. I mean, I'm the worst bowler I know, and I score at least a 50-60.

And watching the video reminded me of something I forgot to say. Although I really like Michelle's voice, Barack's voice really bugs me.

Jen said...

This would makes it hard! I don't like oatmeal in my cookies! I think i'll find a different algorithm for making my decision.

Amber said...

Jen, you use algorithms to make your election choices? You're such a Jenginerd!

And the votes are in. In the highly scientific cookie election I held at work, McCain's oatmeal cookies won.