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Throwing my hat into the ring

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."


That's Teddy Roosevelt talking, but it may as well be me. I am hereby announcing my campaign to become a guest judge on Top Chef DC. There's already a Facebook group, which is the best Facebook group ever. But it's just the start. First, of course, I need a campaign manager, or at least a crowd willing to act as campaign managers. Anyone got a campaign strategy?

By Ezra Klein  |  March 12, 2010; 11:32 AM ET
 
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Comments

That's not just you and Teddy Roosevelt talking, it's Richard M. Nixon. The 'man in the arena' passage was his favorite TR quote.

Posted by: Mark_Regan | March 12, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I'll volunteer to run the campaign, but first we need to find out the other contenders for the gig, so I can start relentlessly attacking their background with salacious lies and propaganda, backed up with independent groups who will do the swiftboating.

To the extent Ezra is willing to play the role of being completely innocent of knowing who is saying or doing all of this, then I'm in.

Posted by: zeppelin003 | March 12, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Does the search for a new campaign manager imply that the one who spoke so boldly on 3-Nov-2009 is being let go? There must be a back-story here... MSNBC should investigate.
See http://tinyurl.com/chefklein for details.

Posted by: rmgregory | March 12, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

All for this idea Ezra, but what's going to be your handle on the show? there's gotta be a hook. are you deathly allergic to crab meat? are you in love with pork? all the best judges have had some kind of quirk. what would yours be?

Posted by: gitmogarcia | March 12, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

not for nothing but don't you have enough on your "plate" (pun intended).

either way good luck.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Zeppelin above has it right. Go negative, early and often. Are your rivals known to frequent McDonalds? Do they frequently burn their toast? America deserves to know!

Posted by: RobK_ | March 12, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, I notice that even though you didn't join my indie grassroots start-up of a facebook group to send Rush to Costa Rica, I joined your FB group anyway. Judging from the 24 fans, it's kind of a ....niche cause...but you have my full support.

Posted by: Jenn2 | March 12, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

after your really scathing review of Pasta Mia, I'm afraid you'll make one of them cry, or, worse, bitterly contest your credentials. Better to just ask for an invite to their open-to-the-public events.

Posted by: rusty_spatula | March 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen this show, so this is a naive question: Are these guest judge decisions even made democratically?

Posted by: slag | March 12, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, no can do. Don't view cooking as a spectator sport.

Posted by: pj_camp | March 12, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"First, of course, I need a campaign manager, or at least a crowd willing to act as campaign managers. Anyone got a campaign strategy?"
I do but, and it's big butt!!You,that means I,(there's NO y o u in campaign!) need money to run the campaign. My thoughts are, lets have a EAT off. As you eat your way to the top we,(I), will take pledges for $1.00 each spoonful you down. You know, like a run or walk only it will be you eating. AND anyone who sends in $s will be the crowd known as "acting campaign managers". Then when the money comes pouring in you (again, I) will spend it as needed. That's my pledge to you and your minions who sent in there $$$$$$$s.
Surly you jest?? DON'T call me Shirley.

See you on Rachel, wit loVe J Rome

Posted by: theemailman | March 12, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"First, of course, I need a campaign manager, or at least a crowd willing to act as campaign managers. Anyone got a campaign strategy?"
I do but, and it's big butt!!You,that means I,(there's NO y o u in campaign!) need money to run the campaign. My thoughts are, lets have a EAT off. As you eat your way to the top we,(I), will take pledges for $1.00 each spoonful you down. You know, like a run or walk only it will be you eating. AND anyone who sends in $s will be the crowd known as "acting campaign managers". Then when the money comes pouring in you (again, I) will spend it as needed. That's my pledge to you and your minions who sent in there $$$$$$$s.
Surly you jest?? DON'T call me Shirley.

See you on Rachel, wit loVe J Rome

Posted by: theemailman | March 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

In these trying times, I suggest that your campaign theme channel Herbert Hoover via Clemenceau:

"Un poulet dans chaque chaudron"

Posted by: tomcammarata | March 12, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, you shouldn't have opened with this. You should have campaigned to be a permanent judge, and then bargained down to guest-judge appease the conservative bloc.

Unless... you knew this all along, and are secretly angling to be a contestant.

Posted by: adamiani | March 12, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

You might be able to set yourself apart from the other judges and the rest of the world by mentioning at some point during any given meal preparation that there's nothing particularly innovative about wrapping things in bacon.

Posted by: andrewbaron78 | March 12, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

i joined the facebook page. i tweeted in your support. i'm in.

lol

Posted by: silentbeep | March 12, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Not to be a smart-ass (OK, to be a smart-ass), when I read the opening quote I expected the rest of the post to explain that you're campaigning to be a contestant.

Isn't a judge the person "who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better"?

I'm just saying...

Posted by: Sophomore | March 12, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Gotta be a naysayer, Erza, and please prove me wrong. I think your best shot at being a guest on Top Chef DC would to find a famous friend to be a guest judge, and then tag along with them. Maybe you could be part of Bob Woodward's entourage? I just don't think you're in Natalie Portman's class yet - as an intellect sure, but not as a celebrity.

Posted by: DRies | March 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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