6. Obama became the first person ever to skip the hours-long wait at Austin’s Franklin Barbecue last year, but bought lunch for the line as a thank you. “I feel real bad, but -- I’m gonna cut.” We say, why else be President?
7. In an early BBQ-politics tie-in, supporters of our seventh President, Andrew Jackson (nicknamed “Old Hickory” because he was as tough as hickory wood), distributed hickory toothpicks and canes at, you guessed it, hickory-fired barbecues.
8. Politics and BBQ tangled even earlier, when in 1800s Alabama a guy called Barbecuensis started talking smack about political barbecues. His 1829 petition to end the affairs totally sputtered out, because barbecue rules.
9. More than any other President, LBJ used barbecue and cookouts as diplomatic tools, hosting politicians like then President of Mexico Lopez Mateos and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and many members of congress. Nothing assures world peace and harmony like “You’ve got some sauce right there… Oh just come here.”
10. BBQ & politics continue to mix today: Presidential candidate Jeb Bush placated deep-pocketed donors with barbecue at a recent two-day retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine. Nothing says “Commander-In-Beef” like barbecue brisket, smoked turkey, salad, and mashed potatoes.