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I try to keep things at Slice apolitical. After all, even the slimiest of Republicans and the skeeviest of Democrats enjoys good pizza. But this is an important election, and I figure all you homeslices reading the site could use some guidance as to whom the best pizza candidate might be among the front-runners in each party's nomination race.

My first step was to see how many times "pizza" was metioned on each candidate's website and how often the candidate's name and the word "pizza" came up together in a Google search.

I then contacted the candidates via their websites to ask four standard questions and one question specifically tailored to the candidate. In alphabetical order, here are the emails I sent and responses I got:


HILLARY CLINTON (D)

Instances of term "pizza" on candidate's website: 97
Instances of term "pizza" associated with candidate in the news: 142

[Editor's note: Each candidate received a variation of the following greeting; I include it here with Senator Clinton's correspondence but omit it in later correspondence, as only names and party affiliations were changed.]

Dear Senator Clinton,
I am editorial page editor of Slice, America's favorite pizza weblog, and we are trying to decide which Democratic candidate to endorse before the all-important make-or-break March 4 round of primaries. Because we focus specifically on pizza at Slice, I would like you to answer the following questions for the pizza-minded voters in our substantial audience:

  • Thin-crust or deep dish?
  • Favorite topping or topping combo?
  • Given your background—Illinois-born but representing the people of New York State and New York City—where do you fall on the Chicago vs. NYC issue?
  • Can you name your favorite pizzeria?
  • You once derided the consumption of pizza, characterizing it as unhealthy. Would you like to take this opportunity to clarify your pizza position for Slice readers?

I know how enormously busy you are ahead of Ohio, and I thank you for your time. Good luck!

Hasta la pizza,
Adam Kuban

Clinton's Response

Dear Friend,
Thank you for your message. I have received thousands of emails from people all over the country. Your comments are very important to me and I am excited that so many people are joining our conversation about how to change the direction of the country. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of comments, I am unable to respond to each email individually.

Please visit hillaryclinton.com to learn more about my views on the issues and to read the latest information about my campaign.

Below are some suggestions for how you get involved in the national campaign today ...

[suggestions omitted for space]

Thank you again for your interest.

Sincerely,
Hillary
Hillary


MIKE HUCKABEE (R)

Instances of term "pizza" on candidate's website: 76
Instances of term "pizza" associated with candidate in the news:68

  • Thin-crust or deep dish?
  • Favorite topping or topping combo?
  • Where do you stand on the Chicago vs. NYC issue?
  • Can you name your favorite pizzeria?
  • How has your well-publicized diet affected your pizza consumption?

Huckabee's Response

None.

JOHN McCAIN (R)

Instances of term "pizza" on candidate's website: 38
Instances of term "pizza" associated with candidate in the news: 101

  • Thin-crust or deep dish?
  • Favorite topping or topping combo?
  • Where do you stand on the Chicago vs. NYC issue?
  • Can you name your favorite pizzeria?
  • Your state is home to one of America's best pizzerias (Pizzeria Bianco). When was the last time you visited this establishment?

McCain's Response

None.

BARACK OBAMA (D)

Instances of term "pizza" on candidate's website: 1,380
Instances of term "pizza" associated with candidate in the news: 185

  • Thin-crust or deep dish?
  • Favorite topping or topping combo?
  • Where do you stand on the Chicago vs. NYC issue?
  • Can you name your favorite pizzeria?
  • The call for "Change" is a central philosophy of your campaign. But do you support the type of change that has Americans stuffing cheese into the crust of their pizzas?

Obama's Response

Dear Adam Kuban,
Thank you so much for your interview request.  It is now in our system and our communications team will follow-up with you when we have a better idea of your request’s status.  We understand the difficulties a delay in response may cause and certainly appreciate your patience.

If you need to follow-up with our team before you hear from us, please email media@barackobama.com. However, we will touch base with you as soon as we have an update.

Best,
Communications Team
Obama for America
barackobama.com


ANALYSIS AND ENDORSEMENTS

Democratic Candidate: Barack Obama

20080303-obama.jpgHillary Clinton gets points with us for her service to New York state, where pizza as we know it was essentially born. And she gets bonus points for her .jpg signature. We are, however, dismayed at her failure to respond to tough questions regarding her denigration of slices and pies. While we understand that an all-pizza diet is not healthy, it is up to the individual to monitor her own diet while on the campaign trail. Placing the blame for unhealthy eating on one of America's iconic foods rather than where it belongs—on the candidate herself—does not bode well for someone whose accountability will need to be beyond reproach after eight years of unchecked negligence in the Oval Office.

And while we have concerns about Barack Obama's experience, when we consider his pizza credentials, he wins our endorsement for the sheer number of supporters coming together at pizza meet-ups to work phone banks, organize get-out-the-vote drives, and make big talk about change. Many of his supporters are college students, who, as we know so well, are among the nation's largest pizza-eating bloc. We also like that Obama visited Caesario's Pizza in Manchester, New Hampshire:

Link: Caesario's Pizza [YouTube]


Republican Candidate: John McCain

20080303-mccain.jpgWhile we were dismayed by the lack of response from either Republican candidate, we must nonetheless choose one to support. Mike Huckabee's total on-site pizza count is double that of John McCain's. But the senator from Arizona has some crucial pizza cred behind him in that he hails from an up-and-coming pizza state. Believe it or not, Arizona has what is said to be one of the country's best pizzerias (Pizzeria Bianco) and is home to a number of coal-fired pizza ovens. While we don't know if Mr. McCain partakes of such offerings (shame on you for not answering us, Senator!), we suspect that Governor Huckabee's diet would limit him from consuming pizza in quantities that would befit a nominee that this site could endorse. Therefore, our nod goes, by default, to Senator McCain.

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