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Obama Savors Some Very Special Pork

Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) tastes a piece of cheese April 2, 2008 as he visits the Italian Market section of Philadelphia. (Getty Images)

By Shailagh Murray
PHILADELPHIA -- One thing about Sen. Barack Obama: The guy doesn't eat much. He's skinny, as he often describes himself. He's actually lost weight on the campaign trail (now that's a strategy for winning the female vote).

But during a walking tour this morning of the Italian Market here, Obama ate, and ate, and ate some more. And not the hot dogs and fries that he sampled during his Pennsylvania bus tour, but good ole' yuppie food.

In Claudio Specialty Food, he perused the cheese selection and bit into a slice of provolone. "I'm thinking I need some cold cuts," Obama announced, nibbling on the cheese. "The fresh mozzarella sounds good. But I want to try to the salami." He dropped a thin slice into his mouth. "Good stuff," he declared.

Owner Sal Auriemma wrapped up a quarter pound of salami, baked ricotta that Obama compared to pound cake, provolone and mozzarella. He refused to let Obama pay, but the senator insisted, handing Auriemma a $20 bill and waving off the change.

He moved down the street to Di Bruno Bros., a slightly swankier and trendier meat and cheese shop. He sampled the asiago and the Birchrun Blue, a new farmhouse blue made in Chester Springs. "That's good stuff. What else you got for me?" Obama said.

Ezekial Ferguson, one of the workers and a self-described big Obama fan, held out a slice of pata negra, a fancy Spanish ham, explaining that it had only recently been legalized in the United States. "What do you mean just legalized? It's so good it's like a drug or something?" said Obama. "Pretty much, yeah, just wait," said Ferguson.

He explained that the ham came from a type of black-hoofed Iberico wild pig that wanders around eating acorns, "which turn into delicious fat in its muscle tissue, and also make it really healthy for you." That drew a chuckle from the reporters Obama had brought along. "All I know is it tastes good," said Obama. "That was delicious."

Apparently the conditions for aging pata negra were not up to snuff with the USDA until very recently. Now one producer in Spain is licensed to import it. "That fellow's only $99.99 a pound," Ferguson announced. "So I ate a dollar's worth," Obama said.

He settled up for his quarter pound of "Shellbark Shark" goat cheese, priced at $25.99 per pound and produced at a West Chester farm from a herd of 33 purebred Nubian goats. Obama posed for a photo with Ferguson and his workmates, and left with another bag -- and enough food for a pretty fancy picnic lunch.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 2, 2008; 1:30 PM ET
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Next: Persistent Picture-Seeker Irks Obama


Shailagh Murray can be counted on to feed the negative MSM story line on any Democratic candidate in any election year. From Gore's internet adventures to Obama's appreciation of charcuterie, look for Ms. Murray to be writing something that is (a) completely irrelevant to the candidate's qualifications for office and (b) snarky and/or silly. OhmiGawd, Obama has champagne tastes, he ate a $100/lb piece of ham, he can't be a Man of the People. Stop the presses.

Posted by: snelson648 | April 4, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

wdsoulplane commments (above) that Barack is not afraid to try something just because he is not good at it (bowling).
Is that what we need as commander-in-chief of the strongest forces in the world?
(Maybe a bit more practcice with video games?)

Posted by: quentchan | April 3, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I am a conservative and will vote for McClain. ( I am also an ex-military pilot.)Nevertheless, I admire Obama and respect his attainments. He is going to be heard from in years to question about it! And Mrs. Obama--what a speaker. Look out.
However, I note that his pledge to become a vegan was made on April 1.

Posted by: quentchan | April 3, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Oy, so da Goy can eat some Pork, BUT, can he handle Gefeltefish?

Posted by: rat-the | April 3, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

This is so stupid. Obama eats pork! My god! Should we surprised he eats chicken, beef, fish, vegetables, cheese, etc? When is this news worthy?

Hey, why not cover the gustatory preferences of John McCain and HRC as well? That might shed light on their policy differences compared to BHO!

Election coverage is now becoming a joke, rapidly declining into a media circus of boneheads who have too much time on their hands and cover every insignificant detail of the race. It reminds me of Farenheit 911. I thought that High School reading was the most painfully useless reading I had to do in my lifetime, interesting how the writer is so prescient on the complete devolution of the 4th Establishment.

Posted by: logicaldoubtofhumansanity | April 3, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little put off by the author calling his tour of Philly's Italian Market going for 'good ole yuppie food.'

It's a pretty earthy place that we love to death. A part of growing up in an Italian-American family IS going to those types of places and sampling walking out with lots of cheese and smoked salty meats.

I guess to non-Italian-Americans it's yuppie food, but for us it's just damn good.

Posted by: Mikmars1 | April 3, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh my god; oh my god; I cannot vote for someone who eats food. You people commenting on this issue are pathetic as "rat-the". The reporter who came up with this story is an idiot. We are a nation in peril; gas prices sky rocketing; people, good honest hard working men and woman with families losing the homes because of shifty bank managers. Where to they go; are they winding up in some cruddy shelter with drunks and drug attics. A war, a stinking filthy war fought to free people from a former ally who we betrayed so a tin horn Texan could feel manly. He was a cheer leader for a reason. He is a pussy! Most Iraqis hate us and the rest just want to steel from us. Let us discus real important issues and not whether a candidate eats food or not.

Posted by: Tommy7757 | April 3, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse


Please post ONE example of an "improper sentence" from Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | April 3, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

We simply must elect a President who speaks better English than Barack Hussein Obama. We have been forced to endure 7 long years of a President who can't put a proper sentence together and should not have to endure another President who lacks the grammar skills which should be a requirement for any Presidential candidate.


Hillary is intelligent, skilled, qualified and electable. Obama is not.

Posted by: TAH1 | April 3, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

As Hillary Clinton came under increasing scrutiny for her story about facing sniper fire in Bosnia, one question that arose was whether she has engaged in a pattern of lying. The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary's history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther - and goes much deeper - than anyone realizes. Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy's chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation - one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman's 17-year career. Why? "Because she was a liar," Zeifman said in an interview last week. "She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality."

URL: ://

Also, Barack's trying bowling shows he is human and not afraid to try something new just because he is not good at it -- shows that he does not have to be Mr. Perfect. Yet some made fun of him for their own agenda and turned something human into political sabotage!

Posted by: wdsoulplane | April 3, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah and the "yuppie food" comment was really absurd and offensive. Enjoying fine foods does not make someone a yuppie. It means they like delicious food. Don't think that Clinton's rust-belt trailor-park voters wouldn't eat some of that cheese or salami in a heartbeat.

Posted by: thecrisis | April 2, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

This story made me really, really insanely hungry. Thanks WaPo, I don't get off work for another thirty minutes.

Posted by: thecrisis | April 2, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

rat -- i'd call you a name but you picked the perfect one for your callsign. get lost and crawl back into the republican hole you belong in. as for this piece, sorry but i am really tired of the snarky post attitude -- "that's a strategy for winning the women's vote" -- "good ol' yuppie food"?? I really don't like keeping this stuff up, but the Post cries out for it in its coverage.

Posted by: Omyobama | April 2, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see that some candidates understand that they're supposed to pay for what they get at these photo-op stops. I wonder if that waitress that Hillary stiffed in New Hampshire back in January is still waiting for her tip?

Speaking of income, anybody seen Hillary's taxes yet?

Posted by: whatmeregister | April 2, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

liisaphillip: "So what do you think?"

I think you don't know an April Fool's joke when you see one. ;-)

Posted by: whatmeregister | April 2, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Is it true, Barack Hussein went to a Bathroom immediately afterwards, and did his impersonation of a "Fashion Model-after eating a Big Meal"?

Expel the UnClean! Expel it all!

Stay Slim too! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | April 2, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

re: rat-the (item #2 above). rat-the and others mouthing the Zionist line against Obama, i.e. hinting he is a Muslim (implying what, that he is a terrorist sympathizer?), must be identified as part of a larger easily identifiable Zionist agenda in the US to do or say anything that will prevent an Obama presidency. Haim Saban said it all for these people - they are "one issue" people, "and that issue is Israel". The Zionists want McCain more than anybody, and one way to help McCain is to damage the Democratic party's chances in November, and one way to contribute to that damage is to sow deep rancor among the Democrats by a pitched battle between Clinton and Obama. Never forget, for these people "Israel is the only issue", not health care, jobs or the economy. And by "Israel", they mean the country in which major office-holders seek to "refugeeize" over 2 million Arabs by forcing them out of Israel/Palestine.

Posted by: TimothyL | April 2, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The problem is it's just not one speech clinton made. She can't admit mistakes. But I have to wonder how someone who has ran a campaign so badly from the unpaid bills to the poor planning to the early overspending. Can be expected to run a country. Clinton needs to find a graceful exit and in a hurry before her legacy is only about how she lost!

Posted by: jaco302 | April 2, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, such Sweeeeet Music! :-)

You see, you kind Christians,

ANIMOSITY, is the CRY of the Wounded Losers!

It must really hurt, that some "Christian" Sects, are JUST as Anti-American as al-Sadr or al-Nasrallah could ever be!

Question, do you think al-Wright has an organized Militia?

Inquiring little Minds, want to know?! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | April 2, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I find this far more intriguing:

Clinton Testimony on FBI Files Blocked

Posted by: Actualtext | April 2, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse


Question-Were you dropped on your head when you were born? You must have had a tough childhood because you are a venal little pus.

Posted by: jovitman | April 2, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

wasn't rat-the just being funny/sarcastic? I don't follow the names too much in these posts but when I read it I chuckled so I assume it was meant in fun.

and the vegan story was an April fool's day joke.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | April 2, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse


You truly are a low life. Given the fact you proclaim yourself to be rat, go scaavenge for some rotten cheese, while our next President enjoys the good stuff.

Posted by: jovitman | April 2, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's Nasty Pastorate
Posted March 19, 2008 | 01:11 PM (EST)


Read More: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Barbara Ehrenreich, Christian Conservatives, Fellowship, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Religion, Jeremiah Wright, Jeremiah Wright Barack Obama, Prayer Breakfast, Religion And Politics, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, The Family, Breaking Politics News

Buzz up!

There's a reason why Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama.

You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that "through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the "Fellowship," aka The Family. But it won't be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in

Sean Hannity has called Obama's church a "cult," but that term applies far more aptly to Clinton's "Family," which is organized into "cells" -- their term -- and operates sex-segregated group homes for young people in northern Virginia. In 2002, writer Jeff Sharlet joined the Family's home for young men, foreswearing sex, drugs, and alcohol, and participating in endless discussions of Jesus and power. He wasn't undercover; he used his own name and admitted to being a writer. But he wasn't completely out of danger either. When he went outdoors one night to make a cell phone call, he was followed. He still gets calls from Family associates asking him to meet them in diners -- alone.
The Family's most visible activity is its blandly innocuous National Prayer Breakfast, held every February in Washington. But almost all its real work goes on behind the scenes -- knitting together international networks of rightwing leaders, most of them ostensibly Christian. In the 1940s, The Family reached out to former and not-so-former Nazis, and its fascination with that exemplary leader, Adolph Hitler, has continued, along with ties to a whole bestiary of murderous thugs. As Sharlet reported in Harper's in 2003:

During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa's postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand "Communists" killed marks him as one of the century's most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise.

At the heart of the Family's American branch is a collection of powerful rightwing politicos, who include, or have included, Sam Brownback, Ed Meese, John Ashcroft, James Inhofe, and Rick Santorum. They get to use the Family's spacious estate on the Potomac, the Cedars, which is maintained by young men in Family group homes and where meals are served by the Family's young women's group. And, at the Family's frequent prayer gatherings, they get powerful jolts of spiritual refreshment, tailored to the already-powerful.

Clinton fell in with the Family in 1993, when she joined a Bible study group composed of wives of conservative leaders like Jack Kemp and James Baker. When she ascended to the senate, she was promoted to what Sharlet calls the Family's "most elite cell," the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast, which included, until his downfall, Virginia's notoriously racist Senator George Allen. This has not been a casual connection for Clinton. She has written of Doug Coe, the Family's publicity-averse leader, that he is "a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God."

Furthermore, the Family takes credit for some of Clinton's rightward legislative tendencies, including her support for a law guaranteeing "religious freedom" in the workplace, such as for pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions and police officers who refuse to guard abortion clinics.

What drew Clinton into the sinister heart of the international right? Maybe it was just a phase in her tormented search for identity, marked by ever-changing hairstyles and names: Hillary Rodham, Mrs. Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and now Hillary Clinton. She reached out to many potential spiritual mentors during her White House days, including new age guru Marianne Williamson and the liberal Rabbi Michael Lerner. But it was the Family association that stuck.

Sharlet generously attributes Clinton's involvement to the underappreciated depth of her religiosity, but he himself struggles to define the Family's theological underpinnings. The Family avoids the word Christian but worship Jesus, though not the Jesus who promised the earth to the "meek." They believe that, in mass societies, it's only the elites who matter, the political leaders who can build God's "dominion" on earth. Insofar as the Family has a consistent philosophy, it's all about power -- cultivating it, building it, and networking it together into ever-stronger units, or "cells." "We work with power where we can," Doug Coe has said, and "build new power where we can't."

Obama has given a beautiful speech on race and his affiliation with the Trinity Unity Church of Christ. Now it's up to Clinton to explain -- or, better yet, renounce -- her longstanding connection with the fascist-leaning Family.

Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL Home.

Create a Home Theater Like the Pros. Watch the video on AOL Home.

Posted by: ldcvoigt | April 2, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

mccainnocrat, actually Obama is responsible for $91M in earmarks, versus the $340M dollars Senator Clinton garnered for her special interests (we don't know who they are because Hillary won't say). For more information (if you are really interest, google "google in government" (another idea brought to America by -- Barack Obama!)

Posted by: meldupree | April 2, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Why is this news? Who cares that he bowls or eats chocolates? What in the heck is going on here? We're trying to elect a president. Why don't they write articles about his lies about Rezko, his lies about his preacher, lies about his father's association to JFK, lies about his parents and the Selma peace march. Senator Clinton makes one mistake about her trip to Bosnia and that's all we hear about. This is just not right. It is a complete smear campaign and I'm very suspicious about it as well as all the Clinton bashing. Enough is enough. Let's get back to the issues.

Posted by: TALVES | April 2, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse


you remind me of someone i once confronted in a crowded restaurant who was smoking a particularly vile cigar. i asked him if he realized that his cigar smoking was offending many people his reply was "that's the point" . my reply to him and you is "you're pathetic". someday you may just look in the mirror and recognize that you are a waste of a human life.

Posted by: lou | April 2, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

On the Supervegan website today, Obama declares that "I am a vegan." I suppose that will appeal to his college student fans.

Text below:

by Jason DasApril 1, 2008 4:39pmFiled under: Animal Rights Environmentalism Farmed Animals Government, Law & Politics

Obama and Kucinich, American Heroes

In a speech this afternoon in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Senator Barack Obama made a groundbreaking announcement:
I have long been an advocate of the less fortunate among us, of those who life has handed a crooked deck, the short end of the stick, an unfair deal. There are no Americans for who this is more true than the populations of our feedlots and industrial farms. It is time to end the exploitation of farmed animals on American soil. It is time to give up hamburgers as we have given up slave-holding. It is time for us to end our dependence on milkshakes as we must end our dependence on foreign oil. It is time to acknowledge that the fishing industry does damage to our oceans far beyond that of emissions from our coal burning power plants. I invite all Americans to join me in a bright future free of cruelty and exploitation, free of the blood of innocents killed only for our pleasure.
While details of his animal liberation agenda were vague, he obviously doesn't lack conviction. When questioned directly by a reporter after the speech, Obama stated "Yes, I am now a vegan. From a personal perspective, it doesn't hurt that people of African descent are invariably lactose intolerant."

Longtime vegan and perennial presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was supportive, saying "It's wonderful to see a young politician like Barack taking a stand on such an important, under-discussed issue." Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean was less enthusiastic: "While we support Mr. Obama's right to stand up for his principles, this decision takes him so far away from mainstream American belief that it's difficult to regard his candidacy as viable. The corn and soy lobby think they've pulled off a coup here, but he's just lost his Super Delegates." (It's worth noting that the Vermont dairy lobby is especially strong.)

Personally, I'm torn. I'm thrilled that Obama's gone vegan, but I can't help wishing he'd won the presidency first."


So what do you think?


Posted by: liisaphillips | April 2, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse


I curse the day you were born. May you never see happiness in life for insinuating Obama is Moslem despite the fact that in your rotten heart you know that he is a christian.

Posted by: ayuk_o | April 2, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Shame on You, Barack Obama! Eating swine should not be apart of your campaign! Meet me in Pennsylvania!

Look, I'm not a Muslim. I can do this!

Posted by: Debmood | April 2, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

jkallen001: You've got to admit though, the ignorance is HILARIOUS! You know, I could use some fancy cheese and meats in my life. Good for Obama!

Posted by: jone775 | April 2, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse


I hope terrible tragedies befall you and your family. your ignorance must be wiped from the face of the earth.

Posted by: jkallen001 | April 2, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Muslims are allowed to Decieve Infidels by doing things proscribed to actually promote their agendas!

Just for everyone's edification! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | April 2, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I'm more interested in the "pork" Obama dished up to taxpayers this year, over $100 million in special interest "pork". The celebrity taste testing tour doesn't impress me.

Posted by: McCainocrat | April 2, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

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