‘Broccoli Obama’

by Lindsey Grudnicki

At Tuesday night’s “Kids State Dinner,” President Obama told a young White House guest that broccoli was his favorite food.

The event, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and sponsored by Epicurious.com in conjunction with the departments of Agriculture and Education, celebrated the healthy culinary creations of kids from across the country. One entry from each state, three U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia was selected for the dinner’s menu.

The president’s answer was tactfully in keeping with his wife’s ongoing campaign against childhood obesity, yet many have questioned the truthfulness of his response in light of photographic evidence of Obama’s love of ice cream and previous comments he has made about his weakness for nachos. “President Obama lied to a group of children today,” Gawker announced while Wonkblog defended the president with the headline “Barack Obama loves broccoli. So does America!”

Responses to the comment on Twitter range from terming the president’s choice “boring” to “impossible.” Obama’s promotion of the vegetable has also brought a former president’s dislike of the food back into the spotlight (George H. W. Bush reportedly banned broccoli from being served on Air Force One, explaining that he had hated it since childhood) and revived memories of the 2010 Obamacare debate in the Supreme Court when the question came up whether the federal government could mandate broccoli consumption.

The remark has also provided fodder for the comedy world. Cartoon Network’s Annoying Orange show will feature a new character on Wednesday’s program — “Broccoli Obama.”

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