Thu. Sep 23rd, 2021

Political tradition crumbles as the first lady cookie competition ends

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    Taste testing Trump’s and Clinton’s cookies (2016)

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Taste testing Trump’s and Clinton’s cookies (2016) 01:55

(CNN)A tradition for almost three decades, the Family Circle magazine first lady cookie contest is no more.

Family Circle, a publication founded in 1932 and dedicated to the domestic arts, went out of business late last year, ending one of the more famous election-cycle competitions for hopeful first spouses. Since 1992, first lady cookie recipes from incumbent and potential presidential spouses have been pitted against one another, tasted, and voted on by Family Circle readers. Though a playful polling indicator, the competition has successfully predicted the presidential winner in five out of the last seven election cycles. The most recent first spouse cookie contest, in 2016, was not accurate. Melania Trump’s recipe for star-shaped sugar cookies — featuring the controversial ingredient of sour cream — was bested by Bill Clinton’s “Clinton Family Chocolate Chip Cookies.” (The addition of Bill Clinton to the “first lady” mix forced the name-change of the contest to the “Presidential Cookie Poll.”)

    The 2016 challenge was held by Family Circle on its Facebook page, where the Clinton recipe received 1,623 likes and hearts, while Trump’s cookie received 535, according to a statement at the time from the magazine shortly after the recipes posted. The Clinton cookie stayed ahead of Melania Trump’s cookie, leading by about a 3:1 ratio, during the entirety of the six-week voting period. The Washington Post was first to report the end of the competition.Read MoreIn 2012, Michelle Obama’s recipe for chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies beat Ann Romney’s M&M cookies, but Obama’s previous recipe in 2008 for a shortbread cookie lost to Cindy McCain’s butterscotch oatmeal treats. It could perhaps be stated it was more than past time for the cookie competition to burn out. Most first spouses have come into the role of first lady with impressive career credentials, and soliciting baking tips feels antiquated, if not downright out of touch. However, the irony of the origin of the competition, which began in earnest in 1992, came out of a comment from Hillary Clinton, who was defending her work as a lawyer. “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life,” said Clinton, a quippy statement that would have a ripple-effect across the country, pitting stay-at-home spouses against those who work.

      Later that fall, on the cusp of the election, Clinton’s sweet revenge was her cookies beating those of Barbara Bush, in a chocolate chip versus chocolate chip face-off. No word on which cookie recipe Jill Biden would have submitted had the contest still been in the works. Biden told Parade magazine in February she wasn’t much into sweets anyway, adding, “I love French fries!”


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