The Red, the Blue and the Coconut Cake

An interview with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum

Photo by Susan Laughlin.

February 11, 2020: Voting day starts out glum with a nasty non-stop drizzle. Actually, this is a good weather day in New Hampshire — nary an overturned tractor trailer in sight.

First, I need to do my civic duty. Driving past all the yard signs at 40 miles an hour — Biden, Pete, Amy, Warren, Sanders, Yang and Tulsi, was one last flip-book reminder of the Democrats in contention. At Main Dunstable Elementary School in Nashua, my local voting place, the real last plea is in the eyes of all those volunteers hoisting candidate signage. They say “hi”and I say “hi” back with just a slight smile. Don’t want to get their hopes up… after all I am walking into the polling place undecided. Yikes. This is the first time ever. Last time I was one of those solid citizens waving signs.

Afterwards, I head up to the Bedford Village Inn where Fox News had set up camp for a week of live coverage. The Great Room had been made into a series of ad hoc studios linked with heavy duty cables. Giant banners where hung from the buildings, and a temporary tent studio, the Fox Box, was staged high on metal scaffolding, to frame the iconic visage of the Great Hall with its two wood silos in the background while the anchors report on our primary.

Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, both anchors of their own shows on Fox New Channel, were there working as co-anchors in the 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. slot so I took the opportunity to talk to them. Nothing political, I just wanted to get their thoughts on the Granite State and what they thought of the dining scene here. It is always fun to meet folks you only know as colored pixels on a flat screen.

Bret walks in dressed in living color with a gorgeous royal blue suit and almost non-partisan blue and red striped tie. He called it his “campaign suit.” Martha is sweet and petite and dressed casually before her go-time in 3 hours.

I asked both Bret and Martha what they liked about our state. They answered that question and several others, all recorded below:

Bret: This is a gorgeous place, especially this time of year. We like the snow. It was great when the snow was falling in the background behind the set— it was like a snow globe. This is the prettiest set we’ve had.

Martha: I love the snow, too. We don’t get enough at home anymore. It really looks authentic. Sometimes we are in big cities and a convention center and it’s just another box. It is a struggle to get a location that looks like where your are.

Where have you eaten this week?

Bret: Most of our meals are here, we really haven’t left the campus. Had a dinner last night at Cork’s Wine Bar and I really think it’s the best clam chowder I ever had.

Martha: Seriously, the food is so good here. I also enjoyed my chicken dish and the beet salad last night was amazing. And that was after the spread at lunch and charcuterie board that seems to be their specialty. Bret was very good at picking out the wines. Then, we both loved the coconut cake for dessert.

Bret: Yes, I want that recipe.

Have you been able to get out to eat anywhere else?

Bret: I went out once to the Hanover Street Chophouse the other night. Enjoyed it very much.

Martha: I did get out to the Red Arrow diner for a quick interview. But after we hadn’t eaten so we enjoyed a tuna melt. I love a good diner.
Also, there are three restaurants here at the Bedford Village Inn, so it feels like we’ve been able to get a nice variety including lobster rolls and crab cakes. Everything has been very impressive. I can’t say that for every location we’ve been.

How do you keep your fighting weight, especially when on location?

Bret: Fortunately there are gyms at most of these places, so I hit the treadmill and try to avoid the coconut cake now and then. It’s tough to do.

Martha: It’s difficult, you feel like you should treat yourself when you’re on the road. I like to run, and I can usually do that wherever I am. When I have time, I enjoy skiing. I used to ski here at Loon Mountain when I was in college, it was a great spot. During the impeachment, I enjoyed running on the Mall in DC. Otherwise, I do circuit training from an app on my iPad. In the end, we have to make up for it when we get home.

Bret, I heard you have a special challenge set up for yourself.

Bret: Yes, I am determined to lose 50 pounds before I turn 50 on August 4. I’m calling it Fifty Before Fifty. I’m just beginning, it will be a long road. By Election Day I will be a thinner person. Every election year I go up and down and now I am on the downward track.

What is your diet plan?

Bret: It is a combination of Weight Watchers and a keto diet and stay away from the coconut cake and of course, hit the treadmill. It does take discipline.

When you lose the weight, how will you celebrate your birthday?

Martha: Probably with a great meal, some nice wine and maybe that coconut cake.

Bret: Yes, if I can get the recipe.

PS. They did ask me how I voted and after I explained my angst of indecision. Bret said, “So New Hampshire.”

Martha MacCallum joined FOX News Channel in 2004 and currently serves as the anchor of The Story with Martha MacCallum (which airs weekdays at 7 p.m.). Bret Baier is the FOX News Channel Chief Political Anchor and host of Special Report with Bret Baier (which airs weekdays at 6 p.m.).

Categories: Food & Drink, Q&A