To Win, Hillary Must Eat a Garbage Plate
2016 has been a campaign like no other. Outsiders have upended the established order, party stalwarts have decried their own nominees, and Scott Walker briefly mattered. Today, after a year of uncertainty, political diviners project a victory for Hillary… but those same prognosticators famously failed to predict Trump’s nomination. It’s clear that the traditional hallmarks of presidential politics — polls, gaffes and, well, facts — are largely inapplicable to 2016, and another Clinton presidency is by no means assured. In this wildly unpredictable campaign, there is only one path that will ensure a Clinton victory: Hillary must eat a Garbage Plate.
A Garbage Plate, for those who don’t know, is a hearty dish invented at Nick Tahou’s, a greasy diner in Rochester, New York. In its most popular form, a Garbage Plate consists of two cheeseburger patties with sides of home fries and mac salad, topped with “meat sauce.” (Some diners go with other meats and sides, but the principle is the same.) Traditionally, the contents are stirred together until they look like garbage and are consumed with a hefty portion of bread. Many diners eat a Garbage Plate around 2 AM and report not eating again for another day or two.
Now, I’m sure that the idea of Hillary Clinton downing some greasy patties covered in heart attack-sauce might strike some folks as an odd proposal, and they will allege that my status as a Rochester native is coloring my views. But Hillary’s own statistics prove the validity of this idea:
Others will say that New York state reliably goes to the Democrats, and that campaigning in upstate New York is a waste of time for Hillary, but that’s not exactly right.
While New York state’s cities reliably go blue, huge swathes of the state still go to Republicans. And these voters are, demographically, fired up about Trump: They’re high school graduates, white, and my cousins. It’s likely that Trump knows this; he’s already vowed to put New York state in play this year. And while his chances may look slim, so did his chances of becoming the GOP nominee. If Hillary looks even close to losing the state where she c̶a̶r̶p̶e̶t̶b̶a̶g̶g̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶q̶u̶i̶t̶ ̶m̶i̶d̶t̶e̶r̶m̶ served as senator for 8 years, it will become a yuge talking point for Trump. “Hillary says she’s done all this great stuff, but even in New York they don’t like her. They love me in New York. I have the best yorks,” he’ll say, and Hillary’s standing as the experienced candidate will suffer.
Clearly, Hillary needs to win back the working class voters of New York state. Completely obliterating a Garbage Plate and soaking its sloppy juices in some stale bread may be the only effective way to do so. Attending a NASCAR race in Watkins Glen? Too transparent. Eating a plate of buffalo wings? Too spicy. Touring the Saranac brewery? That could work, but Hillary probably won’t drink out of a can, and that’s a liability. No, if Hillary wants to woo upstate New York voters, there’s only one option: She must slam a Garbage Plate. And wash it down with a Genesee.
Once Hillary announces her intention to eat a Garbage Plate, the cable news talking heads will undoubtedly fret over what meat/sides combo she should order. Burgers, mac salad, home fries? Hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad? They’ll bring on experts who will pour over the implications of every combination (FYI, I’m available). But in the end, those sorts of intricacies will be irrelevant. All voters need to know is that Hillary Clinton demolished a heaping plate of meat, starch, and mayonnaise while some RIT students chanted “I’M WITH HER! I’M WITH HER!” after last call.
This will be no easy feat. Many Garbage Plates are never finished. But if Clinton truly wants the presidency, she’ll have to win over New Yorkers by absolutely housing what is essentially the entire spread of a 4th of July barbecue plated in a dirty Rochester, NY diner. If she can pull this off, then millions of New Yorkers and, presumably, competitive eaters will stand with her. If she doesn’t, it’s a certainty that Donald Trump will promise to eat one. And never do so.