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Obama’s cheesesteak snobbery: Shades of Jawn “Swiss” Carry

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By Michelle Malkin  •  April 4, 2008 09:00 AM

I’m flying out of Harrisburg, PA this morning, but I just had to pop in as a Philly-born girl to say my peace about Barack Obama dissing the cheesesteak.

Yes. Dissing the cheesesteak. Yo. What is he thinking?

The Messiah has already been brought down a notch here in PA by his pathetic bowling score. He can’t really afford more public relations hits to his Everyman credentials, such as they are. But it appears he didn’t want to risk a boneheaded John Kerry moment with the Philly cheesesteak.

Remember?

Flashback…John Kerry demonstrates how not to eat a cheesesteak:

kerrybites.jpg

If Sen. John F. Kerry’s presidential aspirations melt like a dollop of Cheez Whiz in the sun, the trouble may well be traced to an incident in South Philadelphia on Monday.

There, the Massachusetts Democrat went to Pat’s Steaks and ordered a cheesesteak — with Swiss cheese. If that weren’t bad enough, the candidate asked photographers not to take his picture while he ate the sandwich; shutters clicked anyway, and Kerry was caught nibbling daintily at his sandwich — another serious faux pas.

“It will doom his candidacy in Philadelphia,” predicted Craig LaBan, food critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, which broke the Sandwich Scandal. After all, Philly cheesesteaks come with Cheez Whiz, or occasionally American or provolone. But Swiss cheese? “In Philadelphia, that’s an alternative lifestyle,” LaBan explained.

Obama out-dorked Kerry by completely passing up a cheesesteak at the Italian Market and instead sampling some fancy foreign ham. Well, la-di-dah. Via the Philadelphia Daily News:

What, no whiz?

Sen. Barack Obama sampled $100 ham, but didn’t chow down on a cheesesteak during a visit to the Italian Market yesterday.

During a half-hour tour of the market, Obama sampled wares at Claudio Specialty Food and DiBruno Brothers – where he noshed on a Spanish ham that retails for $99.99 a pound.

Staff at DiBruno’s told him the ham only recently became available because it was previously barred by the FDA.

“All I know is it tastes good,” Obama said. As good as whiz with onions?

In fact, neither Obama nor Sen. Hillary Clinton, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, has made the traditional stop at South Philly cheesesteak establishments Pat’s or Geno’s.

But Obama last night told a crowd of supporters gathered at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, “I’m going to get a cheesesteak the next time I come.”

One local observer thinks both Obama and Hillary’s decision to shun the city’s most famous cheesesteak joint may have something to do with their ideological allergy to Geno’s stand that customers speak English:

“I think some of the places that were must-stops, aren’t must stops any more,” said political analyst Larry Ceisler. “I think that the Kerry experience was certainly a bad experience and I think the candidates look at that. Also, I don’t think they want to take the chance of the immigration issue.”

Yeah, God forbid a Democrat politician be seen with a small business owner who thinks his customers should speak English!

So, Obama promises to eat a cheesesteak “next time?”

Too late, Mr. Dainty Fingers. You only get one chance to make a first impression. The odor of elitism is like onion breath: Quick to acquire, hard to get rid of.

Not that Obama would know anything about onion breath…

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