Cheesesteak gate: politics as usual

cheese wiz
Having a weblog is great because you get to be a self-proclaimed expert on any topic. It’s all about being a micro journalist and fighting The Man. You better watch out, The Man, because there’s a bunch of people with laptops and broadband connections who are gonna bring you down.

I’m a uniter, not a divider, so I stay out of politics in this forum. Once in a while, however, a story comes along that I cannot ignore. The Cheesesteak Gate scandal broke late last week; the full synopsis is over at Eschaton.

It breaks down like this. Senator John Kerry visited Pat’s King of Steaks here in Philadelphia and ordered his cheesesteak with Swiss cheese. What is his staff thinking, letting him order a Pat’s cheesesteak with Swiss cheese? If Kerry wins the election, I hope he gets some better people working for him.

So then President Bush shows up in Philly and orders a Wiz with (translation: cheesesteak with Cheese Wiz and onions). Respectable.

However, Kathleen E. Carey from the The Daily Times found a source at Jim’s Place–an institution that has provided sustenance for the Bush entourage on previous campaign stop–who claims that President Bush actually prefers his cheesesteak without Wiz or provolone. Instead, he likes “cheese of the American variety.”

Oh, Mr. President. You say you’re one of us, eating processed cheese chemicals from industrial-sized cans, but it was all politics–an attempt to curry favor in a swing state. The next time you’re in Philly, stop by, and we’ll do a 3 AM Geno’s run in my ghetto car. Of course, Senator Kerry is welcome to come too. But for the love of God, don’t embarrass me by ordering some fancy highbrow cheese.

21 responses to “Cheesesteak gate: politics as usual”

  1. Becky

    Bernard, I’m a big cheese afficianado, but it’s all about context. You don’t eat Whiz at a wine and cheese party, and you don’t partake in a yummy aged gouda on a drunk Geno’s run.

  2. Kytari

    That is so funny. I added your blog to my links section. I always enjoy your perspective on things.

  3. Bernard (The Beat is back)

    Cheez Wiz? And I thought that you were a cheese aficionado, I have lost all respect for your cheesy-ness.

    Everybody knows that, and I hate to agree with Bush, cheese steaks should have American or Provolone.

    Kerry, you may have lost my vote.

    I wonder what kind of cheese Nader likes…

  4. Bernard (The Beat is back)

    Nader probably likes some soy-based, environmentally safe, green crap that is made in a vacuum and tastes like puffed air.

    Who is the American Patriot Party candidate this year? I bet he/she will eat real cheese.

  5. Bernard (The Beat is back)

    Off topic.

    Take a look at the whole website, it is good for a few laughs.

  6. Scott

    Is it just me, or is Bernard answering his own comments? Crazy man!

    I, myself, have only stopped at either Pat or Geno’s once (I can’t remember which it was. The one that is all flashy and stuff. I like blinking lights). But I did my duty as a Philadelphian and got it with Cheez Wiz, however, I dare say Bush is right.

    However, it has to have onions, I mean come on, I’m not a communist!

  7. Bernard (The Beat is back)

    “Is it just me, or is Bernard answering his own comments? Crazy man!”

    It is a combination of an extra large Jamaican Blue Mountain and a slight case of the crazies.

  8. Bernard (The Beat is back)

    Hmmm…good point.

  9. Theresa

    you didn’t mention that Kerry and Bush were drunk. did Kerry loosen up at all? did Bush become more coherent?

  10. Sam

    Becky: Sunwishes on 21st (IIRC) and walnut makes really yum cheesesteaks. Well I think the word steak is a bit exaggerated as the place serves only vegetarian food. The cheese is soy based. The “steak” is mushrooms, peppers and some other things. Worth checking out.

    And I never thought I would admit this but, Mr. Bernard Beast Man, soy cheese does taste good. Infact I can’t tell the difference and FYI there is nothing currently wrong with my tastebuds.

  11. Sam

    Mentioned the tastebud thing incase you were wondering about it.


  12. Bernard (The Beat is back)

    I have to admit that I never tasted it, I always tell my kids to try it before they say that they don’t like it…don’t tell my kids.

    But I wonder what is put into it so it tastes like something that it is not.

  13. Becky

    Very funny, Theresa–good idea. I hereby amend my invitation to Bush and Kerry. Let’s get drunk and THEN go to Geno’s. Of course, if we’re drunk, we can’t take the ghetto car.

    I have theory about eating and drinking and world peace, but that’s a topic for another day.

    Sam–will check it out and report back. I have reservations about the soy cheese.

  14. Bernard (The Beat is back)

    “Of course, if we’re drunk, we can’t take the ghetto car.”

    I guess if Bush gets one more DUI he will get his license taken away…

    I can see it know – Bush riding to a state dinner on a bicycle with a sticker that says “I brake for Nukes.”

  15. Sassy J

    You don’t need to be drunk to have the veggie cheese steak–and I can’t believe there are two places on the same block. In addition to Sunwishes, Natural Goodness, 20th and Walnut, has a veggie cheese steak with Seitan, peppers and onions–I’m a carnivore and it’s great. Of course, I like to order my once every two years cheese steak with Greek tzatziki sauce
    –what sacrilege! And if I’m not ordering said steak from a local Philly Greek deli, I go with provolone. As I’ve said before, fat injected plastic, aka cheese whiz reminds me of Michael Jackson–who did star in the Whiz–it’s all making sense now.

  16. Jen

    A guy from Pat’s King of Steaks was on Crossfire today saying he thinks Kerry made an honest mistake. Heh.

  17. Becky

    Dang, I wish I could’ve seen that. Today’s online Inquirer had a blurb about the Crossfire appearance:

    Along with serious stuff today, Crossfire will examine whether Democrat John Kerry’s faux pas at Pat’s last August – ordering Swiss instead of Cheez Whiz – could cost him Pennsylvania, a key swing state, in November.

    “It was a big mistake. There’s no getting around it,” says [Crossfire’s] Begala, a liberal. “I think it was bad staff work. Kerry speaks several languages. He should know how to speak South Philly.”

  18. Bernard the Amish Irishman

    I used to hijack Brother Pat’s big-finned antique Caddy for the glorious trek east along US30 in search of authentic cheesesteaks, Bavarian cream filled doughnuts, butterscotch krimpets, and root beer. I desperately need freeze-dried versions of each of these mementos of Pennsylvania culture because I have entered a time warp and am now trapped in the land of my forebears. I would settle for an 8 oz jar of Cheez Whiz. No one here believes it’s safe for human consumption after I demonstrated how it can be used as a substitute for the ubiquitous UHU Glue Stick.

  19. Dana (the crack REFORMED whore)

    cheese whiz is not cheese
    no matter what your party

    that is all.

  20. Bernard (The Beat is back)

    Bernard, send me your address, and I will send you Butterscotch Krimpets, Good’s chips, Unique Splitz pretzels or anything else that you want.

    When I lived in England for a couple of years I missed items like that.

    I don’t think that a cheesesteak or Bavarian cream filled doughnuts would make that trip…sorry.

  21. Bernard the Amish Irishman

    This is getting too much for me. Until I stumbled upon this thread, I had actually forgotten about my Cheez Whiz days, hard pretzels, and butterscotch krimpets. Now all the evil cravings have returned. I mentioned my lust for unique PA Dutch items to my loving mom last year and she mailed me a Shoo Fly pie. Imagine that coming through my letter box. Refined Lancaster Sand is what I had at the end of the boat trip. Surprisingly, it tasted pretty good when mixed into plain vanilla Irish ice cream.