Grits make them Southerners, instantly?

Published 12:03 am Saturday, March 17, 2012

Will the real candidate please stand up?

I’m looking for the ones as honest as George Bush the elder was when he said, “I do not like broccoli and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

I happen to like broccoli, but agree that anyone who endures the stress of being POTUS should eat whatever he wants.

This came to mind after all the fal de ral over Mitt Romney’s comments about cheesy grits made while trying to be one of us last week. He told a crowd he’d gotten “sorted right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits.”

Someone please tell his handlers they are “cheese grits.”

Meanwhile, Rick Santorum was at the original Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa going all food critic over the quality of ribs. Certainly, we don’t need the Pennsylvanian’s opinion to know that Dreamland ribs are awesome.

The repackaging of a candidate as everyman is sometimes so cheesy it’s downright comical.

Just last weekend, the New York Times gave us Mitt Romney’s playlist. For the unintiated, that’s the music allegedly on the man’s iPod, or perhaps his Spotify choices. It was so red, white and blue it had to be written by a campaign consultant. While Romney might really have stepped into a ring of fire in this campaign, does anyone really believe that Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” is one of his favorite songs? Somehow, I don’t see him jamming to The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” either. Nat King Cole’s “Stardust?” I’ll buy that one.

Immediately, the critics noted there were only two African American songs on the list of about 20 of his “favorites.” Cheesy of them, wasn’t it?

My playlists are eclectic and designed to fit my mood; some with a strong beat to keep the pace while running (“Yea, Alabama” is strategically placed for when my energy sags), others for relaxing or blocking out the noises of the world so I can concentrate.

A friend noted this week, “Cheese grits? Yea, they make those in a little package.” Those grits aren’t any more real than Mitt Romney’s playlist in my opinion, but if they make you happy, pop them in the microwave and enjoy.

I consider grits the original comfort food. But I’ll cook mine slowly on the stove top, thanks, with salt, then melt some grated cheese into them.

The would-be president can cheese it up all he wants, but I’d like him – and all the other candidates – a whole lot better if I felt like we were seeing the real candidate, not the instant grits version.