Pick Your “Flavorite”

By Samantha Hayes in Washington

For all those voters out there who are “undecided,” there may be another way to evaluate the candidates.  If you aren’t really sure about Barack Obama’s health care policy, or haven’t made up your mind yet on John McCain’s economic proposals, don’t panic.  If you can’t determine what Obama means when he talks about “change” or whether McCain really delivers “straight talk,” how about another mode of evaluation?  How about a taste test?

This idea came up last night on the way home from work.  I have a bad habit of stopping at the Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop along the way, and this time my colleague, RunningMate director Ali Mena, was with me.  It was Ali who noticed that in addition to the 31 flavors advertised, there are two new ones.  And they are politically inspired.

The “Straight Talk Crunch,” an ice-cream homage to McCain, is made with caramel ribbon, chocolate pieces, crunchy mixed nuts swirled into white chocolate ice cream with candy red states.

Right behind it was the “Whirl of Change.” Obama’s flavor is peanut-nougat ice cream with chunks of chocolate-covered peanut brittle and a caramel ribbon.  Maybe the caramel represents an issue where the candidates agree.  If you figure out what that is, let me know.

I thought this was pretty clever from a marketing perspective, especially for ice cream lovers in Washington, DC.  In a press release I discovered from earlier this month, Baskin-Robbins is encouraging customers to try both flavors, and then vote for their favorite on the company’s website.  The “polls” will close October 20th and the votes will be tallied and announced the next day.

I haven’t voted for my “flavorite” candidate yet, because I can’t seem to bring myself to get anything but the mint chocolate chip. I don’t know if that is indicative of any particular political position, or that simply I can’t “change.” But if I can work up the nerve, I now have two more excuses to go back for more ice cream.

Samantha Hayes is a national correspondent for CNN Newsource based in Washington, D.C. She contributes political stories to KSAT-12. You can learn more about her here.

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