No Joke: MSNBC Compares 2016 Democrats to Sandwiches; ‘It’s Like Picking Something Off a Menu’

In another example of the media doing something that’s silly and bordering on the absurd, Wednesday’s edition of MSNBC Live with Kate Snow ended with a three-minute-plus segment comparing each of the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates to different types of sandwiches with Hillary Clinton being a Subway sandwich and Jim Webb resembling an egg salad sandwich.

Speaking with Food and Wine magazine associate editor Noah Kauffman, Snow explained that since “some voters considering a candidate maybe they hadn't even considered before, you might say it's like picking something off a menu, maybe it's like picking a sandwich.”

The pair then proceeded to place pictures of the five Democratic candidates next to five sandwiches laid out on a table with the first being Hillary Clinton and her comparison to a steak and turkey sub from Subway. 

Noting that it also has cucumbers and tomatoes, Kauffman declared that “[i]t has pretty much everything” and “anything anyone could ever want on it.” In a nod to Clinton’s policy flip-flops, Kauffman added: “[I]t will agree to put under that bread and truth be told, probably everyone is going to eat a Subway sandwich at one time or another.”

Turning to Sanders, Kauffman trotted out a more obscure sandwich for the comparison with the socialist Senator falling in the category of a Vietnamese sandwich called a Bonh Mi. Kauffman explained that “[i]t’s a little bit different” since “[m]ost Americans might not be quite familiar, might not be excited about Bonh Mi yet, might be a little spicy for their tastes, but you know, your hipster friends are going to tell you about it.”

Kauffman and the MSNBC host shifted their attention with the time remaining to the lesser candidates of Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb with O’Malley labeled a generic “soft shell crab sandwich” but not exactly “very well known all over the country...and probably no one is going to be ordering that sandwich in, say, your Oklahomas or South Dakotas.”

Poking fun at Chafee’s changing of parties from Republican to Independent to Democrat, Kauffman chalked him up to being a wrap and “perhaps he used to be a sandwich” seeing as how “[h]e’s shed what was his former bread” to become “something a little bit different now.”

Last but not least, Kauffman decided that moderate Democrat and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb was linked to a generic egg salad sandwich (with Snow mocking Webb’s requests during the debate for more speaking time): 

KAUFFMAN: Yes, Jim Webb, the egg salad sandwich. white bread, white eggs, a little bit of mayo, that's all you want on that sandwich. That's all you're going to get on that sandwich and that is okay, I think, with everyone who loves egg salad sandwiches. 

SNOW: The egg salad is asking for a more time right now.

KAUFFMAN: That’s right. It would like a little more time. It would like maybe some more condiments on there. I don't know. 

The transcript of the segment from October 14's MSNBC Live with Kate Snow can be found below.

MSNBC Live with Kate Snow
October 14, 2015
4:56 p.m. Eastern

KATE SNOW: And now for our own light moment, many potential voters taking a closer look at their picks for president. Well, with some voters considering a candidate maybe they hadn't even considered before, you might say it's like picking something off a menu, maybe it's like picking a sandwich. Well, that's how Food and Wine magazine sees it, recently releasing their takes on which sandwich – yes, sandwich, best represents each of the candidates in the race and I'm joined now by Food and Wines’s associate editor Noah Kauffman. A little bit of fun here. 

FOOD AND WINE MAGAZINE ASSOCIATE EDITOR NOAH KAUFFMAN: Little bit of fun, Kate, a little bit of fun.

SNOW: Alright? We’ve got sandwiches in front ever us. Maybe we’ll see if people can guess first. This is a Subway sandwich. And you say that is? 

KAUFFMAN: It's Hillary Clinton. It's Hillary Clinton. You look at this sandwich. It’s got steak, it’s got cucumbers, it’s got tomatoes, I think it's got turkey underneath. It has pretty much everything –

SNOW: A little bit of everything. 

KAUFFMAN: – a little bit of everything and anything anyone could ever want on it, it will agree to put under that bread and truth be told, probably everyone is going to eat a Subway sandwich at one time or another, so –

SNOW: Okay, next up, I didn’t even know how to pronounce this – how do you pronounce this one? 

KAUFFMAN: Bonh Mi. 

SNOW: Bonh Mi? 

KAUFFMAN: Banh Mi.

SNOW: Which – so that’s a Vietnamese sandwich. 

KAUFFMAN: It's a Vietnamese sandwich. It’s a great Vietnamese sandwich and this is Bernie Sanders. It’s a little bit different. Most Americans might not be quite familiar, might not be excited about Bonh Mi yet, might be a little spicy for their tastes, but you know, your hipster friends are going to tell you about it and they will not let you forget it, that should be eating Bonh Mi.

SNOW: You should check out this sandwich. 

KAUFFMAN: Right, if you haven’t had a Bonh mi, you gotta get there. 

SNOW: Okay, and up next, it’s Martin O'Malley. 

KAUFFMAN: Martin O’Malley is a soft shell crab sandwich, which is –

SNOW: Well, that fits Maryland. 

KAUFFMAN: It's alright, we’re cheating a little bit. It’s Maryland and truth be told, it's a delicious sandwich, but it's not a sandwich that is very well known all over the country. You know, it’s kind of a localized sandwich and probably no one is going to be ordering that sandwich in, say, your Oklahomas or South Dakotas. 

SNOW: Let's be nice. Don't be mean to Martin O'Malley, but I take your point and then up next is the block of granite himself. That’s Lincoln Chafee. 

KAUFFMAN: That's right. Governor Lincoln Chafee and he’s a wrap. Now, he perhaps he used to be a sandwich. He's shed what was his former bread. He is something a little bit different now, and again, a lot of people don't really consider him a sandwich. You know, they think of him as something else entirely. 

SNOW: Nobody's really a sandwich. We're making – you know, people get it, right? 

KAUFFMAN: I think everyone gets it. I hope everyone gets it. 

SNOW: Finally, the egg salad sandwich here, last but not least. 

KAUFFMAN: Yes, Jim Webb, the egg salad sandwich. white bread, white eggs, a little bit of mayo, that's all you want on that sandwich. That's all you're going to get on that sandwich and that is okay, I think, with everyone who loves egg salad sandwiches. 

SNOW: The egg salad is asking for a more time right now.

KAUFFMAN: That’s right. It would like a little more time. It would like maybe some more condiments on there. I don't know. 

SNOW:  How did you get this idea to talk about sandwiches? 

KAUFFMAN: You know, one of our great writers named Adam came and he pitched it to us one day, and we thought, that is just a fun way for us to be able to handle something that is everywhere, as you guys know, it is – it is everywhere and everyone will talk about it. 

SNOW: Alright, Noah, thanks so much, Noah Kauffman, for being with us.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Debates Media Bias Debate Liberals & Democrats MSNBC MSNBC Live with Kate Snow Video Jim Webb Kate Snow Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders Martin O'Malley Lincoln Chafee
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