Campaign Food Diary

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I’ve scored prime seating here on the Obama campaign plane. I’m right next to the power outlet in the rear cabin. So I thought I should take advantage of this to start a thread about one of the most basic realities of traveling with a presidential campaign: Food is everywhere. Armies may travel on their stomachs; I wear campaigns on my hips. I’ve never mastered the discipline that some of my compadres on the plane show. I pretty much eat everything they put in front of me. As a result, I always come away with a few extra pounds.

All those weight-loss gurus say the first step to mastering this problem is to keep a log of everything you eat. So here goes. This is the diet of a typical day on a presidential campaign:

8:30 a.m., aboard the plane on the tarmac in Springfield, Mo.:

Bacon breakfast sandwich on an asiago cheese bagel, made with two eggs and bacon (I chose that over the alternative without the bacon); pecan braid pastry; fresh fruit cup (not enough room left to finish that); orange juice; coffee

UPDATE: It’s 11:30 a.m., and we have just landed in Columbus.

Commenter Jarais asks: What? No leftover Halloween candy for breakfast?

Ummm, actually…there’s a huge bowl of it between the second and third cabins of the plane.
More to come. Lots more to come.

UPDATE: Drat! Margaret Talev of McClatchy tells me I completely MISSED the first breakfast of the day, which apparently was served on the bus in Springfield, and was another selection of bacon/ham/egg/cheese bagels, which also included a vegan option: a bagel with grilled vegetables and soy sauce.

UPDATE: 1 p.m. under the press tent outside the State House in Columbus:

Our first of what could be several lunches today is declared by those who travel more frequently with the campaign than I do to be one of the best spreads ever: eggplant parmesan, chili, salad bar, cornbread, green beans, salmon, sweet potato casserole with pecans. Gotta save room for those brownies, too. This is change my waistline can believe in, my friends.

UPDATE: 2:57 p.m., back on plane for very short hop from Columbus to Cleveland:

But even a short flight offers an opportunity for another meal. Menu on my seat informs me my choices for our fourth meal of the day are: Broad Street club sandwich, Asian chicken sandwich or veggie wrap.

UPDATE: 5:10 p.m., bus ride from the Cleveland airport to the rally:

Chips and candy bars on the bus. They are going fast.

UPDATE: 7:30 p.m.

First dinner: beef stroganoff on the bus in Cleveland.

Second dinner: sliders on the plane between Cleveland and Cincy.

UPDATE: 9:21 p.m. rally at Nippert Stadium, University of Cincinnati:

Trays and trays of desserts in the press tent. Mmmm….cupcakes.

UPDATE: 11:09 p.m., back on board the plane en route to Jacksonville from Cincinnati:

What? You thought we were finished? We are currently being served the “Executive Lite Fare Box”–AKA, our third dinner. Choices are a half turkey sandwich or a half grilled veggie club, both of which are served with cheese and crackers and a chocolate chip cookie.

Update: 1:18 a.m. in Jacksonville:

Okay, we’re done. So what are we talking about? Seven full meals, plus multiple snacks? 50,000 calories? And the only real exercise I got all day was unloading my bag from the plane, our weird little ritual at the end of the day.

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