Stephen Colbert on the Democratic candidates’ favorite comfort foods

June 22, 2019 • 2:30 pm

Oy, it’s gonna be a long 17 months. Not only do we get to hear Trump brag about how savvy he is as he strives to get reelected, but we have to see two dozen Democrats tear each other apart. And if the campaign so far is any clue, that won’t be pretty, or even productive (viz., Joe Biden getting demonized for even mentioning that he tried to work with racist senators).

I predict that the Dems will pander to the public by trying to out-woke each other, which may be a losing strategy. On the lighter side, but still indicative of this tactic, here we see Stephen Colbert’s response to the candidates being asked by the New York Times about, among other things, their favorite comfort food on the campaign trail (you can see the NYT article here and the response to the food question here). But, as you see below, Colbert exaggerates things.

Colbert also spoofs answers to some of the other questions, but it’s useful to see the NYt videos for many of the other questions, which do involved substantive policy issues. Kudos to the paper for their useful comparison of views.

But are all the answers that I compiled from the NYT video:

  1. Veggies on the go
  2. Vegan cupcakes
  3. Pulled pork
  4. M&Ms
  5. No comfort food
  6. Beef jerkey
  7. A glass of whiskey
  8. Any kind of fast food
  9. Hamburger
  10. Baked potato
  11. Italian sausage sandwich
  12. Pulled pork
  13. Kind bars (?)
  14. “There’s too much comfort food” (Bernie Sanders)
  15. Iced tea
  16. Coffee
  17. French fries
  18. Grilled chicken sandwich from McDonald’s, without sauce
  19. Little bowls of M&Ms or mints
  20. Used to be M&Ms but abjured on weight-gain grounds
  21. Ice cream
  22. Chips and guacamole
  23. French fries
  24. Ice cream

Well, it’s not nearly as bad as Colbert makes out, but there’s still some yuppie-pandering here. Scratch my vote for Mr. Veggies on the Go, Ms. Vegan Cupcakes, Bernie (“tut tut”) Sanders, and Mr. Iced Tea.


62 thoughts on “Stephen Colbert on the Democratic candidates’ favorite comfort foods

  1. For even depressing humor, Bill Maher says Oprah is the _only_ possible person who “ checks all the boxes” for a _sure_ win.

    1. He’s basically saying that none of the current candidates is really a shoe in against DT. He wouldn’t encourage her to run, but laments that something with her range of qualities and popularity might be needed.

    1. Indeed, I feel we’ve had a ‘Diogenes’ moment with the good Senator, out of this massive field of players

    2. I’ll second that. Is the whisky in the US spelled like Irish whiskey?
      The best (lowest) price/quality ratio is Laphroaig quarter cask. Some years ago, with a friend, we tested all available single malts under 100$, over many weeks, just 3 per weekend, of course, we kept the WE’s winner for the next WE to compare with the 2 new candidates.

  2. The interesting thing about these “later talk shows” to me is how different they are from their origins. You know, back when it was Jack Par and the great Johnny Carson. Colbert makes his show mostly politics and way too much Trump. But that is what the kiddies must like. I think comedy covers a lot of things besides politics and on a talk show environment it would be nice if the host actually knew how to interview people. Oh well, Carson is long gone.

  3. After seeing everyone on MSNBC call Joe Biden racist for actually working with people in Congress, I said to my parents (who, like me, have never voted for anyone but Democrats at the national and state levels and are desperate to see Trump kicked out of the White House) that “it looks like the Dems are getting a head start on losing.”

    It would be typical. The Democratic Party is excellent at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and it looks like they’ve already committed to trying to live up to that reputation in 2020.

    1. Exasperating, isn’t it? Depressing even.
      Nearly as exasperating as the choice between prospective prime ministers in the UK. Mr Johnson or Mr Hunt, a Brexiteer or a Brexiteer. Talk about defeat.

      1. No doubt through slips of the tongue, Mr Hunt has accidentally been addressed as “Jeremy C**t” on radio or TV on a number of occasions.

        Mr Johnson, by contrast, just is one.

        1. Is that a combination of the worst of all worlds: Jeremy Corbyn, Mark Hunt, and a cunt? Well, I guess the latter isn’t necessary, as the first two names imply it.

          Now we just need to figure out how to add Boris Johnson to it. “Jeremy B. Cunt” should do it!

      2. I’m already prone to depression. The last two years haven’t helped. The next two are just going to be worse…

      3. I should mention how clear and utterly dishonest the narrative was. Multiple pundits — not just on MSNBC, but on ABC and other channels — said he “touted the reputations of segregationists.” They kept saying he “touted their reputations.” He never did anything of the sort. All he ever said was that he worked with them and that they worked civilly. It was clear that this was a coordinated narrative among the mainstream media class on the Democratic pundits’ side.

        1. Have a look, and check the sources and see if he’s wrong. We Can Do Better Than Joe Biden. I did read the summary on Wikipedia and the overall impression is once more the same that I had, he even uses the phrase Republican Lite as I had the other day.

          I have no particular reason to dislike Biden, since B-list politicians (even Vice POTUS) are too unknown to really leave an impression outside of the USA, but I always come away with the same impression.

    2. We Seahawks fans in WA are very (too, in fact) familiar with this sort of thing that we call: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
      Let’s not do that, Dems!

    3. In 2016, the GOP candidates were trading insults over hand-size, questioning whether a Canadian-born opponent was eligible for office, and calling each other names like “conman,” “liar,” and “low energy.”

      We Dems fret too much over any disagreement.

      1. Those are all playground insults. The Democrats’ fight, should it happen, will be vicious because it will be over deep ideological divisions within the party and will be egged on by a media (especially online) that will take one of the sides and throw gasoline on the fire.

        Further, with the changes to the nomination system, this could end up being a horrific dogfight.

      1. One of these days, if you haven’t already, I’d love for you to go long-form on your thoughts on Harris. I think you know that I quite like what I’ve seen of her, and recent things keep pulling me that way. You, as a Californian, have a perspective I’m keen to hear.

        1. Short-form: she’s a climber, and has been running for POTUS for several years now. She will do anything, stab any back, (date any corrupt SF mayor), to move up. And now she’s espousing far-left and racially divisive positions in an apparent attempt to jockey for position in this overcrowded field.

          The pre-internet days of running to the left in the primaries, then shifting back to the center in the general, are over. These extremist positions will stick to her were she to be the nominee.

          She’s also promised what would be an imperial presidency operating by fiat, which I find troubling.

          1. Interested to know more!

            A climber and that distinguishes and diminishes her from every other candidate for higher office ever how?

            Very interested to know more about how an adult “dating” (wink-wink) a mayor (corrupt or otherwise) is anyone’s business, or how gossip and innuendo delegitimize such a person’s achievements.

            What are the definitions of “far-left” and “racially divisive” positions? And how does a voter distinguish an “attempt to jockey for position” from, say, “campaigning for office”? Are those objective or subjective categories? Seems to me like they are a matter of opinion but they are stated as if they are measurable and factual, so I’d appreciate clarifying that if we could please.

            Are “extremist positions” the same ones as the “far-left” and “racially divisive” ones? Is public polling any indication of where positions land on these spectra? How popular they are? How successful they might be in achieving a given social end? How popular a given end would be? Or maybe just the idea of using public policy to achieve anything popular is leftist and racist – and if that’s the case, why do the degrees of leftist/racist matter? I mean if “a little left of center” is already a bad thing that will “stick,” who cares how far left a position is?

            And where is the center exactly? Is this like a radial model? Or a linear thing? Is the center the “best” thing, or just the most “electable” thing? I’m very post-Internet, so all these categories confuse me.

            I’m too am troubled by the thought of an “imperial presidency operating by fiat” – I wonder if that’s something that could ever actually happen in this country? Like, a president simply flouting the Constitution and ignoring the power of Congress (even if not in an “extremist” way)? Or like constantly misrepresenting reality and, say, torturing children to sow fear and division (not the bad “racially divisive” kind, of course) while arbitrarily destroying the administrative state?

            It is indeed troubling and I hope we never see such a thing in the USA. Who knows what such a POTUS might do? Line their own pockets with money from foreign interests? I shudder to think!

          2. It is indeed troubling and I hope we never see such a thing in the USA.

            I should hope not. 🙏

          3. I shan’t take your questions seriously, as this appears to be nothing more than a prolix trump tu quoque.

          4. Really? My questions are looking for more detail regarding assertions of fact about Senator Harris – and I am truly curious to learn the evidence behind them, and also to learn about the rationale behind the ones that might be more subjective than objective.

            I’m interested in ideas. Is my post long-winded (prolix)? YMMV I reckon – that’s definitely a ding I’ve taken before!

            While I regret taking up so many pixels, I was trying to tailor my questions to the assertions in order to flesh them out.

            I’m unclear how asking clarifying questions is an example of the appeal to hypocrisy fallacy (tu quoque, literally “you, too”) – it’s not my intent to express any judgment about the statements: I am trying to understand them.

            If it’s not the questions that demonstrate fallacious thinking on my part, maybe it’s the part at the end where I agree with the concerns about the dangers of an imperial presidency? I’m agreeing with the concerns!

            I double-checked my comment to be sure, and I don’t mention the current POTUS by name. I provide hypotheticals to illustrate my concerns …

            I’m still not following where I’m asserting hypocrisy – and were that the case, I don’t understand why I’m not deserving of illumination. Please explain that, at least? What am I missing?

          5. No? No what? IIRC, Khal Drogo said that when his bride tried to stop him from raping her . The context escapes me – at least I hope so! /wink

          6. No, so that means I do have the context right. Yeesh.

            This website is primarily about science and skepticism – not only, but primarily. When a person writes a post containing fact claims, sometimes questions arise. Sometimes challenges and arguments arise! But always always, it should be easy to provide evidence, citations, links, etc., to support fact claims – also to support subjective opinions.

            When we have the enthusiasm and energy to post our hot takes, what does it say when there’s no effort at all to share and explain? What does it say when the only response to perfectly valid questions is to insult my intelligence, insinuate sinister motivation on my part, and then make a rape “joke”?

            There is no response here because the statements in the main comment are indefensible. It’s a pile of misogynist, racist, anti-semitic, and pathetic MRA tropes. This one makes the “Gillibrand Drinks Male Tears” look positively erudite. I’m kidding! “Male Tears” is a tired old MRA trope as well; it’s just (mercifully) shorter than this one.

            Also, the analysis of the Democratic primary is a pile of uninformed jibber jabber. I read the polls and the policies, and you’re wrong. You don’t know what you are talking about. At all.

            Having said that, I’ll disclose a fun fact: I do not like Senator Harris as a presidential candidate! I like her as my senator, and she was a mostly good State AG, I think.

            Sen Harris is a hard-working, substantial, highly educated, successful and likeable person who is very popular with Californians. She is not a gold-digging whore – and please, let’s not be coy, that’s precisely the insinuation of the reference to her relationship with Mayor Brown.

            I think Willie Brown was a remarkable and effective legislator, and he was a big disappointment to me with the corruption and “favor” exchanging. Isn’t it interesting though that the insinuation about his relationships (it wasn’t just Sen Harris!) tends not to be that he used to his influence to have his way with the ladies? Isn’t it interesting.

            Speaking of WEIT, I became a reader and frequent commenter because of PCC’s mix of seriousness and silliness, and the mix of same among the commenters. It is a marvelous site and it is a free gift to us fans with a lot of work and love behind it. It’s no business of mine how he moderates it. Love it or leave it!

            So, if he would rather you are allowed to continue to spew this ugliness on WEIT – and then not even have the courtesy to interact and discuss the spewage – I support and encourage him to do it the way he wants. Always.

            But in my opinion, for that rape “joke” alone, you should be banned. For the filthy, disgusting, unsupported and unsupportable assertions – about men and women – in this post alone – you should be banned.

            No, yourself.

  4. “I predict that the Dems will pander to the public by trying to out-woke each other, which may be a losing strategy.”

    I’m not so sure of that. Younger people have not turned out in the numbers they keep promising in any election so far. We older and wiser dems are more likely to go to the polls.

    The power of personality is a wild card, too. Biden being gaffe-prone might have been a problem in 2016, but considering what we have now, would whatever swing voters remain really care about that?

    Biden represents nostalgia for Obama as a policy-maker. Buttigieg represents nostalgia for Obama as a level-headed intellectual trail-blazer. A Biden-Buttigieg ticket would be interesting.

    1. Not a bad idea since Biden has good support among non-whites and Buttigieg could bring in a lot of younger voters. It’s missing a direct appeal to women though. Biden-Warren might work better since there are more women than young people who vote.

          1. But, dude, seriously, how amazing is that movie?!? The claustrophobia alone gives me goosebumps. The camera following men through those narrow tunnels isn’t just good work, it’s shocking. It’s difficult to watch even when nothing difficult is happening. And yet it’s also riveting and I can’t take my eyes off it.

            Man, Wolfgang Petersen has had a weird career.

            Hey, what did you think of Us? I found it to be a poor followup to Peele’s first venture, which I thought was very good. Its political message was completely muddled (I had to look up a Peele interview just to get it, though I do like what he was trying to convey), it seemed to drag on because it had a dearth of ideas when it came to Act II, and the family was being humorous at strange times that felt completely inappropriate to both the tone and suspension of disbelief the movie calls for. But Peele sure does have a keen eye for direction. There were too many excellent shots to count.

          2. Love Peele when he’s with his partner, Key, but was really disappointed in his first film, which I saw at TIFF (Toronto Internat’l Film Festival) a couple of years ago. But then I have zero patience for any kind of horror/supernatural stuff, so I am probably not the best judge for his films. For me it jumped the shark the moment it went there…

          3. Love Peele when he’s with his partner, Key, but was really disappointed in his first film, which I saw at TIFF (Toronto Internat’l Film Festival) a couple of years ago. But then I have zero patience for any kind of horror/supernatural stuff, so I am probably not the best judge for his films. For me it jumped the shark the moment it went there…

          4. I kind of agree with you even about his first film, merilee. For me, it was that the message was a bit too ham-fisted, but, for a debut film, I thought he showed a pretty remarkable eye for direction and, if he had anything to do with the actors, he directed them really well. I was expecting more from his followup, but I feel like I got less. Maybe he was trying to make the message less overt this time, but that just resulted in it being so muddled to the point where I couldn’t figure out what it was (and all my theories as to what it might be were wrong, so he really failed hard on that point). His script was pretty bad when it came to about 1/2 to 3/4 of the second act, and the ending in the lab was incredibly stupid and dragged on and on like the second act, though I did love the twist at the very end.

          5. I took a pass on seeing Us — or rather, it played for just a week while I was out of the town at the local theater where I see most of my movies, and I didn’t make the effort to go out of my way to see it somewhere else.

            I did catch the trailer before it passed on through. I liked Peele’s Get Out a lot. But I was disappointed to see a guy that talented seeming to repeat himself rather than head in a new direction.

            I’m sure I’ll see it sometime before long; maybe I’ll really like it, but I wish he’d done something else.

          6. Speaking of Das Boot, there’s now a mini-series of it streaming on a service we don’t get…

    1. I do not know very much about Mr Inslee, only that he is very much informed on climate change and favours a single payer or mixed health care system. Two reasons to suspect he might be an excellent president.

    2. If the Dems take the White House in 2020, look for Jay Inslee to be named secretary of the EPA (or maybe of a new cabinet-level climate-change position).

      1. Good point. We might expect several other candidates will get government posts related to their principle area of interest.

        1. Yeah, especially once the primary campaign gets down to two or three, or five or six, final contenders. Then the horse-trading will begin in earnest to pick up the also-rans’ supporters and donors (and delegates, have they any).

  5. I take some comfort from the polls US-wide (and in the swing state PA) that Mr Trump’s approval rating is underwater in the 65+ age group now. They used to be solidly behind Mr Trump, a kind of Trumpist bulwark…

  6. We Democrats have turned into a party of worry warts.

    Republicans have lost the popular vote in six of the last seven elections — in five of them with candidates much better and more qualified than Donald Trump. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost the presidential election with 47.2% of the vote (to Barack Obama’s 51.1%). In response to this loss, the Republican National Committee commissioned an “autopsy report.” That report advised that the Republican Party needed to reach out to women, minorities, and younger voters if it wanted to remain competitive at the national level.

    Republicans, being Republicans, ignored their autopsy. Instead, they turned around and nominated Donald Trump, a candidate whose primary appeal is to the shrinking demographic of older white voters. Trump “won” the electoral college in 2016 despite losing the general election by nearly three million votes, a feat never before accomplished, mainly due to a 77,000-vote fluke in three states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin (states where Trump’s approval rating is now underwater by double digits).

    Winning the electoral college while losing the popular vote is something that had occurred just three times before in this nation’s 58 prior presidential elections — twice, 64 years apart in the 19th century, never in the 20th century, and once in the 21st. No candidate has ever come close to doing it twice, and of the three earlier elections where it’s happened, only Dubya in 2000 ever went on to win reelection (and everything about the 2004 race was skewed by the 9/11 attacks).

    Donald Trump is shaping up to be the weakest incumbent president ever to stand for reelection in modern times — weaker still than James Earl Carter and Poppy Bush, the two incumbents who were defeated in my lifetime. Trump is the only modern president never once to have an approval rating over 50%. He’s been flat-lined at between 40 and 43% for essentially his entire term in office. His electoral ceiling seems to be capped at about 44% (or at best the 46% he “won” with last time), especially since he’s done nothing at all to reach out to those who voted against him last time.

    Those kinds of numbers make it nearly impossible to win in a straight-forward two-party race without a third-party candidate, where the winner almost always polls over 50% (as Obama did twice, as both the Bushes did once, as Reagan did twice, as Carter and Nixon each did once, as Johnson and Kennedy did in their only elections, and as Ike did twice).

    That’s not to say Trump should be taken lightly. He’s dangerous, both as a president and as a candidate. He will have essentially unlimited financial resources for his reelection bid (since few big-dollar GOP donors will be willing to risk Trump’s wrath during a potential second term by refusing to pony up). And he will run a relentlessly negative, ugly campaign, the likes of which this nation has never before seen, in an effort to drive down the popularity of his Democratic opponent. He also has the near unanimous support of today’s GOP (including, especially, its energized white-nationalist wing). Plus, he’s all but nailed a sign on the White House door announcing “open for business for malign foreign election interference.”

    Every effort must be made, every precaution taken, to defeat Donald Trump in the next election. But he’s hardly the bullshit unbeatable bogeyman Democrats seem to fear.

    1. Well, if you want to win the popular vote but lose the election yet again, all that information is very helpful.

      The Democrats should be worried. This seems like an easy win, but remember how confident we all were about winning in 2016? That didn’t work out too well. And this time we have a field of like 20 candidates instead of two, and it’s going to be a very long and apparently nasty primary season. And it seems it’s going to revolve around two things: the division between the woke Democrats and the Democrats who actually make up the majority of Dem and independent voters, and the woke media versus the establishment. None of that is good.

      The Democrats should also be worried because they’re trying to get rid of Donald freaking Trump. As you noted, no amount of concern, planning, or readiness is too much when it comes to something this important.

      I don’t see anyone here or many people elsewhere who are concerned that Trump is somehow unbeatable; in fact, nobody I know thinks he even should win again, considering his approval ratings and overall Presidency. What they (and I) are worried about is the Democrats sabotaging themselves and Trump winning by default. They’re worried about a messy primary and ignorant media that leads to a nominee who enters the general election already damaged by his or her own team. And if there’s one thing Trump is very good at, it’s identifying weaknesses in his opponents and exploiting them mercilessly.

      1. The 2016 election was a “black swan” event, unique in our history of 59 previous presidential elections, and unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Nevertheless, it’s only natural that those of us who wound up on the losing side of that fiasco would be feeling once-bit, twice-shy about our 2020 election prospects.

        Still, were I a betting man — and I am — I’d be betting on the Dems. Right now, I’d certainly bet any man from any land any amount he can count on the proposition that Donald Trump won’t win 50%-plus of the popular vote (the ordinary benchmark for victory in a two-candidate race). And I’d make a substantial wager that Trump won’t win the electoral college again while losing the popular vote.

        Doesn’t mean it can’t happen, of course. Hell, I once lost a poker hand with four aces against another guy’s very small, very well-disguised straight-flush. But given the same hand under the same circumstances, I’d sure as shit play the odds and go “all in” again.

    2. I’m pretty sure it will come down to turn out. Trump will get his 42%, with high turn out on the GOP side. If everyone who voted Dem in 2018 turns out, the Dem candidate will win. If the Dem turnout is low, Trump could win.

      Not very many people will decide they don’t like the Dem candidate and vote for Trump instead. If they don’t like the Dem candidate, they will just not vote. I think that is the real concern. GOTV!

  7. Why the question mark after KIND bars? They’re a brand of snack bars, mostly reminiscent of granola or similar ‘healthy’ foods.

    I can’t say they’re my cup of tea, but to each their own.

    1. Because M&Ms taste (marginally) better than Smarties and I’m not sure that Smarties are readily available in the States.

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