- In the months leading up to the Iowa Caucus, Amy Klobuchar has used a classic Midwestern meal, “hot dish,” as a means to gather voters and talk about her campaign.
- The practice of “wining and dining” for votes can be traced back as far as ancient Rome and Greece.
- It hasn’t always worked. Here’s how politicians have used this strategy throughout history and during the 2020 presidential race.
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Americans may be at each other’s throats when it comes to talking politics. But at the end of the day, there’s one thing we all have in common: food.
And our representatives are well aware of that.
Political figures have been using food as a means to boost their public image and recruit new voters for thousands of years. Some politicians, including Julius Caesar and Hannibal, placed emphasis on the simple diets of rulers and emperors, as a way to highlight personality traits and demonstrate temperate behavior.
In 1758, George Washington bribed voters by campaigning with gallons of booze in order to gain a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses. And in the late 19th century, massive political barbecues in New York were used to sway voters with oxen feasts.
Though it’s technically illegal to use food or drink as a means to bribe voters in the US today, political figures have found savvy ways to win over the hearts and stomachs of the American people.
In the current election, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been touring Iowa with “hot dish,” a classic midwestern recipe, trying to draw voters into her corner. The Monday night caucuses will determine whether the strategy will work.
From hot sauce to hot dish, here are some notable examples of how politicians have tried using food and booze to boost their image and gain votes.