…so in her absence it fell to someone else at the New York Times to call President Obama out for eating at Blue Hill in New York City (“artisanal techniques,” locally-farmed ingredients) over the weekend, thereby heightening what Dowd, back in 2008, called the “danger of [Obama] seeming too prissy about food.” Take it away, Frank Bruni:

In the very predictability of this choice [of Blue Hill], in its all-too-neat squaring with the officially sanctioned food agenda, in its absence of surprise or abandon, isn’t it ever so slightly disappointing? Just a little too pat and controlled?


During the 2008 campaign Mr. Obama sometimes came across — and was often portrayed — as someone almost joylessly disciplined and restrained around food, and that discipline and restraint went hand in hand with an unflappability that, on occasions, made it difficult for him to connect.

“Was often portrayed” —just a couple of examples of how/by whom:

Dowd on Obama, April 2, 2008: “as though…a starlet obsessing on a svelte waistline.”


Dowd on Obama, April 23, 2008: “….clearly a man who can’t wait to get back to his organic scrambled egg whites…”

UPDATE: And you’d heard bloggers don’t do reporting? Greg Pollowitz at NRO’s Media Blog Googled up Blue Hill’s recent Department of Health violations, including that “toilet facility not maintained and provided with toilet paper.” No TP and Obama went anyway. How’s that for “abandon?”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.