Where’s the (Political) Beef?

Candidates like to toss “red meat” to their party’s base



Illustration by Brad Fitzpatrick

My first word wasn’t Mama or Dada. It was meat. My second word was mo. From my high chair, I’d pound my spoon and yell, “Mo meat!”

My arteries are likely as congested as town hall yard on primary day. Can’t help it. I love meat. And NH’s first-in-the-nation primary status.

We’re gearing up — bombarded with radio, Internet and good old snail mail campaigning since July. Most of us have seen, shaken hands with, given advice to and heckled several candidates. Pick up the phone in the evening and the person on the other end launches into a diatribe about how her candidate is prime rib and the others are chuck.

Sincere pollsters want to know how likely I am to vote and who I’m likely to vote for. Evidently my one vote could change the course of history.

In the midst of the excitement, I hear — from several sources — about a restaurant not far from home that serves the best meat ever. This meat is so good, folks will wait an hour in line and submit to a Secret Service frisking just to sink their teeth in. These burgers, they say, are well-seasoned, juicy, thick, but proportionate to the bun, with tantalizing add-ons, from blue cheese to roasted garbanzos.

What could I do? I stood in line, bellied up to the bar, and before I could say “Mo meat,” received a plate resplendent with buttered bun topped with a slightly charred burger both thick and wide, crowned with tomato, onion, and four fried orbs of shredded buffalo chicken and cream cheese. That’s right — I ordered the burger with rooster balls. 

It was too big for my mouth, even after my jaw unhinged. So I scraped off the rooster balls for nibbling between burger bites.

It was a good burger, but it did not live up to the hype. What burger could?

It’s the greatest-movie-ever conundrum. Go to a movie everybody raves about and it’s never as you expect. You order a burger medium rare and it comes out medium. It’s not awful. No cause for impeachment. It’s just not all you’d hoped for.

When my daughter was 5 we took her to Disney World on the train. She liked the train ride. She was awful excited to be going to the happiest place on earth. But at the end of the vacation, she summarized her experience this way: “Disney World’s not all it’s cracked up to be.”

And so, as we hurtle down the track toward our Republican and Democratic primaries, as New Hampshire prepares to school the nation on who’s in contention and who ain’t, I can’t help but feel sorry for the intrepid candidates who put their names on the ballots, their reputations on the line, and who’ve worked their buns off for our votes.  

One of you will become President of the United States. We will elect you with the highest and most unreasonable expectations. You will become the burger to end all burgers, with or without rooster balls.

Good luck with that. 

 

More from our special advertising section on breast cancer

Strip Trees

The quest for the best can get a little wild.

Peeling Down For Summer

Every new season has its pleasures and its risks.

Animal Encounters With Tiffany Eddy

Hosting a TV show isn’t always a glamorous business.

Extreme Lunacy

According to the author, "people who court death by engaging in 'extreme' sports are nuts."

The endless road (works)

Will the roadwork and expansion of I-93 ever end?
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. Meet The Common Man's Alex Ray
    Common Man founder Alex Ray is contemplating retirement. What does that mean for a man who’s...
  2. The Glorious Past and Bright Future of Candlepin Bowling
    Going candlepin bowling was once as popular a treat as a Moxie with a Sky Bar, but this nostalgic...
  3. Galloping to the Rescue
    Animal rescue is not an easy calling, and when it comes to horses, the difficulties are...
  4. The Pros and Cons of Legal Cannabis in NH
    All of our neighbors have legalized recreational cannabis to some degree. What does that mean for...
  5. Trail’s End Pond Hockey
    A rowdy band of adventurers sets out for a spirited game of ice hockey at zero degrees in the...
  6. NH's Ultimate Sandwiches
    Find the most delicious sandwiches in the state, from updated American classics to international...
  7. The New Hood Museum of Art Revealed
    The Hood Museum at Dartmouth College in Hanover underwent a massive renovation and is ready to...
  8. Our Favorite Breakfast Spots for Pancake Season
    What’s better than enjoying a hotcake drizzled and dripping with real New Hampshire maple syrup...
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags