The junk food the president eats says a lot about Donald Trump and his long-term outlook, a lack of planning and more.

  • Greasy diet stands in contrast to health-nut, “seven almonds a night” Obama.
  • Junk food aficionado Trump likes things done as quickly as possible with no room for second guessing.
  • From cheese steaks to bacon sandwiches – the politics of food examined.

In politics and food, Trump is a throwback to an earlier, more carefree time in America – at least, that’s what he’d like you to think.

One of the most startling contradictions of Donald Trump’s rise to power is his ability to appeal to the “common” man and portray himself as their defender against shadowy global elites like the Clinton clan and Wall Street.

This, the billionaire son of a New York property magnate, rendered into a working class hero!

Food has everything to do with the carefully crafted ‘lowbrow’ element of the Trump brand.

“First choice, best choice”

More than just a marketing choice, the food that Trump chooses also speaks as much to his psyche and style of problem solving.

His preference for junk food, eating fast food such as McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC several times a week, is explained by its simplicity and practicality, “it’s quick,” as he told The Daily Mail.

Several dining guests have remarked that Mr. Trump orders briskly and imperiously, making a quick decision and eating the same meal time and again.

Its clear that he views the act of eating as little more than necessary time sink – a chore that needs to be crossed off the list – and adopts a “first choice, best choice” strategy to decision-making with the least time planning as possible.

“There’s never any real planning for food,” said one former Trump staff member, “It’s always just whatever he is craving, which is more often than not McDonald’s.”

A Slave to His Cravings?

All this does not bode well for his ability to lead a nation.

It is often said that procrastinators make the best politicians. Those who prefer to wait until the last possible moment to make a decision can take advantage of a wider range of outcomes and factors.

Trump’s impulsive nature and disregard for basic planning and logistics is clearly mirrored in his food choices, evidenced in his campaign and in action during his first 100 days as POTUS.

From executive banning orders, quickly overturned, to his manner of appearing to speak without thinking first, we might well call Donald  Trump the first “Fast Food President” – quick, indulgent and throwaway.

Food and Politics

Of course, Trump is not the first politician to control his image via what he eats.

In image-dominated politics, food can quickly telegraph the blue-collar roots and a natural relation to “everyday Americans” that has been exploited numerous times.

  • George W. Bush revealed his patrician upbringing by requesting “a splash” more coffee at a truck stop in New Hampshire, and Mr. Trump’s diet also telegraphs to his blue-collar base that he is one of them
  • Bill Clinton was famous for ending his daily jogs at McDonald’s, although these days he sticks to a vegan diet

On the flip side, these food faux pas have spelled the downfall of many…

  • Gruesome images of then-UK Labour leader Ed Milliband making a mess of eating a bacon sandwich made a mockery of the opposition leader and helped solidify an image of unsuitability for national leadership.
  • John Kerry reinforced his image as an elite “blue-blood” by trying to order a Philly cheese steak with Swiss cheese on the campaign trail.

The messages that politicians send with their food is powerful and can be very insightful. Trump supporters delight in the man’s common touch and taste for cheap, greasy food while for his detractors view it as just another reason to dislike the polarizing politician.

The truth, as the US and the world at large is finding out under a Trump presidency, is somewhere in between.

Photo credit: Instagram/ @realdonaldtrump