My Candidate Ate Here

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 20 2012 10:51 PM

My Candidate Ate Here

There are so many serious factoids to pull out of the four remaining Republicans' FEC reports. Here's an unserious one. Below, the restaurants or food-selling establishments patronized by the campaigns in January. We can break them down into two neat categories. First: The spendthrifts and/or the people who didn't encourage much expensing.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Rick Santorum: Pizza Ranch ($86.66), HyVee groceries ($297.47), Derryfield Restaurant ($2114.55), Papa John's ($115.60), Costco ($165.64), Buffalo Wild Wings ($57.89), Felix and Oscars ($99.85), Target ($40.12), Cafe L Europe ($219.85).

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Newt Gingrich: Papa John's ($163.84), Valentine Food Company ($3063.40).

Next up: The guys with real money to burn. The following two samples are just that -- selections from the first weeks of the period.

Ron Paul: Weathervane Seafoods ($21.12), American Pie Pizza ($210.99), SSP America ($8.38), Siam Orchid ($45.97), Domino's ($26.13), McDonald's ($16.10), Panchero's Mexican Grill ($26.19), Godfather's Pizza ($18.27), Alohana Hawaiian Grill ($7.27), Smash Burger ($21.77), HuHot Mongolian Grill ($11.74), Wendy's ($7.29), Maid-Rite ($6.35), Tasty Tacos ($16.85), CJs Burger Basket ($3.28), Panera ($26.32), Quizno's ($8.46), Burger King ($4.23), Panda Express ($8.46), Fazoli's ($7.94), Zombie Burger ($5.82), Tokyo Steakhouse ($24.14), Chips ($16.28), Olive Garden ($8.67), Casey's ($10.43), Famous Dave's ($236.53), The Luxury Box ($11.00), Papa Murphy's ($19.57), Thai Flavors ($76.85), Pilot ($6.15), PF Changs ($20.88), Culver's ($10.58), Perkins ($27.34), Gateway Market ($86.32), Toby Keith Grill ($68.05), Brian's BBQ ($173.90), Outback ($183.16), Jethro and Jake's ($20.91), Palazzo Stadium Club ($64.70), Rock Bottom ($24.38), The Yard ($950.00), Old Chicago ($22.99). Here I stop, with some numbers not added in, because this only takes us part of the way through the December bills that were paid in January.

Mitt Romney: 801 Chop House ($30.91), 7-Eleven ($50.52), Americana Restaurant ($51.03), Angelo's Greek & Italian Restaurant ($518.08), Applebees ($114.32), Arby's ($23.78), Au Bon Pain ($3.16), Bar Basque ($29.00), Bev's on the River ($172.79), Biaggis ($54.81), Blackhawk Bowl and Martini Lounge ($44.00), Blackthorn Pub ($61.15), Bricktops Restaurant ($119.42), Brueggers Bagel ($26.17), Bubba's ($5.25), Bugaboo Creek ($108.51), Buffalo Wild Wings ($24.16), Burger King, California Tortilla, Carrabba's Italian Grill ($147.86), Centro ($539.12), Chick-Fil-A, Chili's, Cid Main ($132.96), Chipotle, Common Man ($34.76), Consuelos Tacqueria ($11.06), Copper Door Restaurant ($148.54), Django ($201.03), Fong's Pizza ($32.00),

What do we learn? Sometimes there are data dumps that confound our expectations about candidates, and sometimes, we get material that confirms them. Here we learn that the Paul campaign, holding no debt, tracks the most minute expenditures at average joe fast food places, that the Romney campaign eats well or eats in airports, and that the other two guys are too strapped and too busy to care about this stuff.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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