Food Fights for Political Office

British Prime Minister David Cameron invited reporters to watch him eat a hot dog with a knife and fork further fueling a food fight for political office, which could spill over to the U.S. presidential election next year. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP)

British Prime Minister David Cameron invited reporters to watch him eat a hot dog with a knife and fork further fueling a food fight for political office, which could spill over to the U.S. presidential election next year. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP)

As candidates for President in 2016 begin to line up, it is time to note the big election news of British Prime Minister David Cameron who is running now. The big news involves how he eats his hot dog.

Among the most pressing issues of the day, how to eat a hot dog ranks high up. Cameron eats his hot dog with a knife and fork. According to his critics, this proves Cameron is an elitist and cannot be trusted.

Cameron cannot deny eating his hot dog with a knife and fork because he allowed reporters and cameramen into his backyard while he was eating one – with a knife and fork. His attempt to showcase he is just a regular guy and create a photo op for his Conservative Party's work on pension reform was overshadowed by his use of cutlery.

Presidential candidates have begun to hit the hustings where they will be asked – and expected – to munch on all manners of local culinary delights. Their handlers would be well advised to find out how to eat whatever is offered or see their boss embarrassed in front of flashing cameras and iPhones.

Cameron's caution in how he eats a hot dog is well-founded. His Labour Party opponent Ed Miliband was caught on film a year ago unflatteringly gobbling down a bacon sandwich. He is reminded of the picture at every whistle stop, which led him to quip that if voters want someone from central casting, it's his opponent. This is probably not the kind of messaging his PR people have coached.

Clips of parliamentary powerhouses nibbling on food have emerged as a major theme in the current election, which led Cameron to define himself as everyman in his backyard eating a hot dog. It's not like Cameron has never eaten a hot dog with his fingers. He did so back in 2012 while meeting with President Obama, but his fingers got sticky, which made for the wrong kind of lasting impression when he and the President shook hands.

Lest any presidential wannabes dismiss this British cautionary tale, don't forget the recent controversy involving New York Mayor Bill de Blasio who was filmed eating a piece of pizza with a fork, a New York no-no, according to some.

Even though there are other issues that possibly could be discussed on the campaign trail, controversies over eating habits is a lot more fun. Voters can relate to sticky fingers and mustard on their shirts.

While British politicians may be presented with delicacies unfamiliar to most Americans such as haggis, American presidential candidates will be confronted with an astounding array of food with local and global origins. Stuffed tubes, gloppy soup and icing rich pastries will be proudly presented and candidates will be expected to choke them down with a smile on their smudgy face to prove they are just a regular guy or gal.

Since GOP presidential candidates appear in this cycle to be vying for Jewish votes, so they can anticipate bowls of borscht and heaping plates of gifeltefish. Let the cameras roll.