Obama and the Price of Arugula

by Sean Hackbarth

Sen. Barack Obama sure has a way of connecting to his audience. On a farm in Iowa he commented on high prices in grocery stores, just not ones most Iowans go to:

“Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?” the senator said. “I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.”

The state of Iowa, for all of its vast food production, does not have a Whole Foods, a leading natural and organic foods market. The closest? Omaha, Minneapolis or Kansas City.

The empty suit strikes again. This guy should wait until a Whole Foods actually opens in Iowa before running for President.

“Obama’s Down on the Farm” [via Pug J]

Save and Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Digg
  • Diigo

31 Responses to “Obama and the Price of Arugula”

1

Oh, big deal. Jeez, what a gaffe! OMG!

Someone ask Rudy Giuliani what the price of a gallon of milk is. Then we’ll see who’s out of touch.

2

at least milk exists.

and even rudi didnt say he’d invade pakistan.
ask obama if he knew that pakistan had nukes.
i’m sure one of his “people” has told him by now, tho..

3

We’re only allowed to invade countries without nukes? But i thought we invaded Iraq because we didn’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud?

It’s ok; no one would use nuclear weapons on us because we’d just bomb Mecca in retaliation. Makes sense to me. (I mean, if we’re gonna have a pissing contest about stupid foreign policy statements, let’s not leave out Tancredo.)

4

DJ,

You are my go to guy for anything to do with pissing contests.

5

Reminiscent of the French-looking candidate, John F-ing Kerry, and his brilliant “Can I get me a came off looking like Elmer Fudd.

6

Reminiscent of the French-looking candidate, John F-ing Kerry, and his brilliant “Can I get me a a hunting license here?” Came off looking like Elmer Fudd.

7

I’m not a very big fan of them, Mark. Do i know you?

8

They should call that place “Whole Fools” cuz if you are buy your grub from them you are wasting 20% of your food budget.

‘ “…in the neighborhood where I live, the main livestock is squirrels,” said Mr. Obama,…’

Yep. Obviously.

“The state of Iowa, for all of its vast food production, does not have a Whole Foods,…”

Nor, I suspect, would Hawkeye farmers give a flying rip what the price of a little used Italian veggie is at some over-priced over-hyped urban grocer.

And check out the hat, partner, yee-haw!:
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/hottopics/msg0713592827521.html?5

9

Sorry to double up here, but I just had to come back this morn whilste you all were out for Sunday donuts and post what will go down as this political season’s most direct hit: Obama’s new nickname, from GOP debate, via Drudge…

“I mean, in one week [Obama]went from saying he’s going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he’s going to bomb our allies,” said Romney. “I mean, he’s gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week.”

Oh baby! That’s gonna stick like Gorilla Glue.

See ya, Barack.

10

Yer right, that’s gonna hurt his standing with the 23% of Americans that still think the Republicans in office have any clue with regard to foreign policy.

11

So, what, exactly? He’s supposed to look up every single corporation he ever mentions to make sure that there’s one in the state he’s currently speaking in?

Because, what, Iowans don’t have televisions or the internet? They’ve never heard people talking about Whole Foods on TV or on blogs?

I don’t get it. This strikes me as a lot less of a gaff than Romney not knowing the difference between Al Queda and the Muslim Brotherhood.

That’s gonna stick like Gorilla Glue.

Yeah, except that it was Romney who said it, so nobody was listening.

12

Image is everything, Chet. If you’re a New England-raised Yuppie with a family steeped in oil, privilege, and the establishment, just move to Texas, adopt a drawl and say “Ah’m a Washington outsider from Midland, Texas.” And people will believe you. Spend your formative years after college working with the underprivileged in Chicago, but make one harmless “i didn’t know there wasn’t a Whole Foods in Iowa” gaffe, and yer DONE!

Or something.

13

>>Yer right, that’s gonna hurt his standing with the 23% of Americans…

Mayhaps. ‘Prolly hurts his 22% of Demos, too.

“Jane Strangelove”.

I’m liking that tag. Not as good as “The Breck Girl”, but still fits well, don’t ya think?

14

I’m no economics expert but wouldn’t people who grow food for a living be pleased if food they grew was selling for a higher price? Wouldn’t that mean they are getting more money for their labor?

15

I’m liking that tag. Not as good as “The Breck Girl”, but still fits well, don’t ya think?

Yeah, because that whole “giving a guy a girl’s name” bit is hilarious and not at all junior high.

Matt, i suppose it would depend on how much Whole Foods is paying their supplier and then how much they’re marking it up, right?

16

Probably, in any case, I’m not sure why such a statement would be perceived as an automatic bad thing by the audience?

17

Go back to the article Sean linked, Matt.

Mr. Obama sympathetically noted that farmers have not seen an increase in prices for their crops, despite a rise in prices at the supermarket.

He was talking to farmers. he was noting that retailers are raising their prices, with none of that trickling down to the farmers. One could research to see how accurate that is, but that was the point he was making–that big corporate retailers are getting rich at their expense. His choice of arugula was probably a poor one, as i’m not sure what the hell arugula is and whether or not its grown in Iowa (somehow i doubt it), but like i said originally, “big deal.” I find it humorous that Sean chose to attack the little detail rather than the overall message.

18

When I grew up in the South, it was about 5% the price, and arugula was called “Rocket.”
This was before Obama was born, about 1965.

19

I’m no economics expert but wouldn’t people who grow food for a living be pleased if food they grew was selling for a higher price? Wouldn’t that mean they are getting more money for their labor?

Ah, right, based on the principle that “retailers so benevolently pass on a portion of the increased profits from marking up produce, out of the goodness of their hearts”. That’s the main contention of the Naive Moron school of economics, as I recall.

Probably, in any case, I’m not sure why such a statement would be perceived as an automatic bad thing by the audience?

Gosh, I don’t know, maybe because even if you’re a corn grower, you still have to go buy groceries?

20

DJ sez: >>>Yeah, because that whole “giving a guy a girl’s name” bit is hilarious and not at all junior high.

Geeze. What a dolt. It has nothing to do with a girl’s name. It’s mearly “if the shoe fits”. One cannot deny, after watching the video, that “The Breck Girl” is spot on. “Slick Willy” was a perfect tag.

(btw, “The Breck Girl” is a title, not a name)

>>>He was talking to farmers. he was noting that retailers are raising their prices, with none of that trickling down to the farmers.

But… but… Wait just a doggone minute. Wasn’t it Obamamama hisself who said “I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about agricultural issues.” ???

So does he really know or is he pretending to know? And if he offers no data or proof to back up his point, then what is the value of his point? (And just when was the last time Ms. Strangelove was actually IN a grocery store for the purpose of buying groceries?)

And, gosh, ya think there could be any _other_ reasons for increases, pretend or otherwise, in food prices?

Think really really hard.

21

Chet, you conveniently overlook one item that is outside the retailer’s domain, as well as the farmer’s – delivery cost, or the price of fuel. So the accusation of the “evil” retailer stiffing the farmer is beyond idiotic; the farmer just sells his stuff to the highest bidder as does the retailer. Supply and demand dictate the price and if the cost of production and delivery exceed the price point of the purchaser, demand decreases. If the retailer pays more than supply/demand dictates, he must mark it up beyond a competitive price point and people just go elsewhere.

These things aren’t complicated. Most obvious should be the fact that in the history of market economics, no socialist distribution structure has preserved the ability to make a profit at any point in the chain, thus leading to the breakdown of low-level economics and eventually the money system of the nation. Just look at 1920s Italy. Or watch France for the next decade. Eventually, if the tax and spend folks continue the futile practice of taxing producers to subsidize consumers, you can see this process repeat in the US of A.

22

arugula is grown by local farms in Iowa and is widely available in stores throughout the state, including Cleverly Farms in Mingo, Iowa, and Mariposa Farms in Grinnell, Iowa. Moreover, vendors at numerous farmers markets, including the Davenport Farmer’s Market and the Ames Farmers’ Market, sell arugula directly from farms to consumers. Several Iowa grocery stores also carry arugula; the website of Hy-Vee, a large grocery chain headquartered in, and with four stores in, West Des Moines, Iowa — approximately 22 miles from Adel, Iowa, where Obama made his arugula remark — offers tips on cleaning and serving arugula, as well as several recipes featuring it.

23

Well, as this ridiculous meme is still coming up on Google searches, might as well put out some accurate information about what Obama DID say:

~~ Finally, Obama took up the arugula matter. At a July campaign event at a farm in Adel, Iowa, Obama responded to farmers’ concerns about falling crop prices by saying that American farm policy should focus more on supporting the production of specialty foods that are in increasing demand. “Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?” he said. Several articles in the national press seized on the comment as a sign that Obama was out of touch and too cosmopolitan for Iowa tastes—after all, the articles noted, there are no Whole Foods stores in the state.

At the fair grounds in Independence on Thursday, Obama was talking again about the need for diversifying crops beyond heavily subsidized staples like corn and cotton—and used the opportunity to confront the grocery gaffe. He recounted the ridicule he’d received, citing it as proof of the media’s pettiness. “They said, ‘Oh, Obama’s talking about Arugula in Iowa. People in Iowa don’t know what arugula is,’” he said, to laughter. “People in Iowa know what arugula is. They may not eat it but they know what it is.” ~~~

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2007/10/05/people_in_iowa_know_what_arugu.html

Yes, that’s right. He was encouraging farmers to diversify their crops.

But that don’t play so good in the wingnutosphere, do it?

24

[...] Angry New Mexican So, to paraphrase AOC from the comments of the original article are hybrid car owners “driving around the block displaying your Goreon commitment to the admiring public,” like the folks who shop at Whole Foods (evidently including Obama… no wonder the wacky left opposes The Clinton Restoration(TM))? Are they really interested in engaging in self-promoting faux-greenery, namely saving the planet without sacrifice (or at least without their sacrifice… the opposition to Tata Motor’s ultra-cheap car betrays this hypocracy)? [...]

25

[...] If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my Feedburner RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Formal Presidential hopeful John Edwards got off the fence and is now endorsing Barack Obama. Not that I’m surprised that the guy who enjoys $250 haircuts and owns his own squash court is endorsing the fella that likes to bitch about the high cost of arugula. [...]

26

To the second guy…arugula doesn’t exist? Get a brain scan. I suspect something’s wrong with you.

27

“…continue the futile practice of taxing producers to subsidize consumers…”

Is that how you think subsidies work?

28

[...] Quality time with Obama for 30K?  That’s a lot of arugula. These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

29

[...] But the guy who eats arugula and thinks that guns and religion are things common folk cling to because they’re bitter? Him, you can paint as an elitist. [...]

30

[...] SUNSHINE SUNRISE, FL: President Obama issued a statement this evening apologizing for the “careless… clumsy and off-handed remarks” he made today. This most recent gaffe occurred immediately after the President had just completed grueling, back-to-back guest performances on Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. The President said, “Nancy Reagan… [should spend more time eating] arugula… [and] bowling like the Special Olympics… [than] acting like a a typical white person, … [by] you know, doing seances… and [acting] bitter… [by] clinging to her guns and religion.” [...]

31

[...] I don’t see Professor Arugula channeling that sort of blue collar angst well. [...]

Leave a Reply




You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>