Politicians’ eating habits have long been a source of intrigue, debate and even controversy among voters, but if there’s one thing on which most can agree, it’s that South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s way of eating a cinnamon roll is half-baked.
On Thursday, a photo of the presidential candidate surfaced on social media, showing him chowing down on what initially appeared to be a chicken wing, which he grasped with both hands.
Upon closer inspection, it became clear it was part of a glazed confection that had been hacked into several pieces with plastic cutlery.
Liz Charboneau, the evidently appalled Twitter user who shared the image, called the act “illegal,” her post going viral with more than 73,000 likes and nearly 11,000 retweets.
“I’m calling the FBI,” another user declared. Some took issue with Buttigieg’s multipronged approach, faulting him for using a fork, a knife and two hands.
Jumping to Buttigieg’s defense, his senior communications adviser Lis Smith argued his style “isn’t that rare.”
The photo, snapped by photographer Gary He, was featured in his Eater profile of Buttigieg’s campaign trail diet. The now-infamous cinnamon roll was ordered along with a tray of maple pecan sticky buns from Ruby’s Restaurant in Decorah, Iowa.
Buttigieg is just one in a long list of candidates whose food choices have become a subject of public fascination.
In 2018, New York gubernatorial candidate and former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon was embroiled in scandal when, standing at the counter of Manhattan’s iconic Zabar’s deli, she ordered a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese, lox, tomato, red onions and capers.
“SEE IT,” a Gothamist headline blared, advertising footage of what may have been among the actor’s most attention-grabbing moments committed to film.
New Yorkers had only recently recovered from former Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2016 offense when he used a fork to eat a slice of pizza at a Queens eatery. The then-Republican presidential candidate dismissed his detractors on the grounds of seniority.
“I was eating pizza before you were born,” he said.