Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Flash: Steinberg endorses Rauner (regarding ketchup on hot dogs)

    All campaigns have their moments of idiocy; hell, you can argue that the entire electoral process has devolved into one continuous bleat of idiocy, punctuated by ever more rare flashes of sense.
     So I don't want to treat seriously something which doesn't deserve serious treatment.
     That said.
     Not being a hypocrite, I could not silently watch political sorts snicker over Rauner ordering a hot dog with ketchup during a campaign stop at Portillo's Tuesday. The Sun-Times of course fully covered the episode. You can see by the video that the loathsome Republican plutocrat orders three hot dogs: one with everything, one plain, and one with ketchup and mustard.
      His campaign later claimed, rather despicably, that the hot dog with ketchup was for a female campaign worker. No "The buck stops here" with Rauner. No chivalry either. 
      Still, he's off the hook.
      But I feel obligated to point out that he shouldn't have been on the hook in the first place. Even Bruce Rauner is allowed to have ketchup on his hot dog. Ketchup and hot dogs go together. I've eaten them that way all my life, and anyone who suggests otherwise is just aping an old joke—the clueless patron puts ketchup on a steak, the incensed chef comes out with a cleaver—that somehow escaped a Bugs Bunny movie and latched itself onto hot dogs. 
    It isn't even funny anymore. It's just dated and dumb.
     I order hot dogs with ketchup and mustard all the time. So Bruce and I have that in common, or would, if he actually put ketchup on his hot dogs, which I doubt, since I'd be surprised if he had the guts to do anything so edgy. Given what a farrago of poll-tested nothing his campaign positions are, he'd never take a bold stand like eating a hot dog the way he likes it.
     There are many reasons not to vote for Bruce Rauner. My colleague Mark Brown deftly summarized a key one in the paper Tuesday. His insisting on the folly of travel bans in the face of the Ebola crisis shows his tin ear and lack of reality-based thinking. I myself emphasize something Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said of Rauner: "The truth is, I don't think he's a good person." That's the bottom line for me: Bruce Rauner is a bad man, trying to buy a job he isn't qualified to perform and will certainly fail at. If Rauner is elected govenor, he will hurt the state he's claiming he will help. 
     So yes, let's all have fun with ketchup, for a moment. But remember. There are many reasons to look askance at Bruce Rauner, and his choice of condiments on hot dogs is not one of them.  


  1. Ketchup on a hot dog ... That's the northeast Ohio way.

  2. I would be more than happy to give him to Ohio

  3. To quote myself at length from a column seven years ago, it happens that lots of people (though not me, actually) enjoy the tangy, tomatoey taste of ketchup on hot dogs (and other meats).

    Kids especially, probably because of the sweetness. Enough people like it that most ballparks — every ballpark I’ve ever been in — offer ketchup right alongside mustard near the hot dog stand.

    Perhaps ketchup users like the flavor on its own. Perhaps they like the way in enhances or changes or masks the flavor of the meat…same reason anyone puts ketchup on anything. And/or the same reason people put mustard, onions, relish, celery salt, cheese, chili or garden fresh chopped tomatoes on their hot dogs.

    So the idea isn't the least bit odd. And even if someone had a taste for hot dog condiments that was genuinely odd (as opposed to utterly mainstream) such as butter pats or Tang powder, why would anyone waste even half a second thinking about it?

    It's not as though the meat itself has such a fine taste that it's a shame to adulterate it in any fashion (the way some people slather A-1 sauce on fine steak comes to mind).

    I conducted a click survey back then --
    De gustibus or disgust-ibus?

    I like ketchup on my hot dogs -- 47.5%

    It's simply wrong, and those who put ketchup on hot dogs should be scolded and shamed --32.9%

    I don't like ketchup on my hot dogs, but it's fine with me that other people do -- 19.6%

    * 242 total responses

    1. Exactly Eric, and good for you to have the numbers to back it up. To be honest, I think the whole ketchup thing is unconscious parody, people are mimicking the chin-out, balled-fist, my-way-or-the-highway chauvinism that infects so much discussion, over a truly stupid and insignificant point of taste.

    2. If I were to vote on the question, I'd be among the 19.6% noted above. And I USED to put ketchup on hot dogs, myself. In the 2007 blog post EZ refers to, he linked to a "Straight Dope" column on the topic. Cecil essentially agreed with the argument of the 9:46 Anonymous, below. "Ketchup smothers the flavor of the hot dog because ketchup makers add sugar to their products. ... Which is exactly why a lot of parents like it ... Put ketchup on it and a kid will swallow anything ..." Cecil writes, referencing Mel Plotsky of the David Berg company. He DOES conclude the piece by saying "But hey, if you want ketchup, by all means get it."

      My honest question to you, Neil. Do you also put ketchup on bratwursts, thuringers, knockwursts and other German sausages? If so, that would certainly be consistent. If not, it might lead one to surmise that you are putting it on frankfurters more because you always have than because it's the ideal taste combo. Not that there's anything wrong with that! No, of course not! : )


  4. Ketchup on a hotdog is like sugar on pasta. It makes for a tasty dish ( yum, kugel) but it's a totally different taste than it is without it and the dish known as a Chicago Style Hot Dog is ruined by ketchup just as sugar would ruin many pasta dishes.

  5. I agree, Rauner is not a good person. The thing that gets me is, according to him, everything that is wrong in Illinois is Quinns' fault. He's the leader so it's on him.
    Yet, even though he owned all these companies we see doing bad things, it's not his fault. He had nothing to do with it. Now that's leadership.

    Here's mine. On a bun, the works, but no ketchup. Plain, on a plate, cut up. Pieces dipped in ketchup.

  6. If I can't put ketchup on my hot dog, the terrorists have really won.

  7. Edgy = ketchup on a hotdog. Cracked me up.


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