Eat Your Peas!

I love peas.  I know many of you don't and I would never try to convince you that peas are not only delicious but good for you.  President Barak Obama, however, is using peas (and Band-Aids) to convince Republicans to make compromises in the critical debt ceiling talks.

 On Monday, during his news conference, he said “It's time to rip off the Band-Aid.  It's time to eat your peas”.  He says the deadline is approaching and we, as a nation, need to act.  But, the reference to “eating your peas” is more than just acting.  For many it means holding your nose and chewing!  The President is reminding some of the pain of seeing peas on the table when we sit down for dinner.  As soon as he said it, I knew there would be a problem.  You don't mess with veggies.

 Within an hour of the president's remark, the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council was ready with a statement.  The USAPLC was started in 1965 and is based in Moscow, Idaho.  On a regular day, I am sure not many reporters call them asking for reaction to a statement of the leader of the free world.  But, that changed on Monday.

 The people who advocate for peas said they were a bit surprised that the President had mentioned the tiny green veggie.  The USAPLC Communication Manager (yes, it has one) Erica Beck was ready to spin it.  She said the organization is hoping it will cause Americans to increase their consumption of peas.  “Eating peas has two clear benefits:  they can help close the nutritional loopholes in your diet, and preparation isn't taxing!   If peas were served more often at the White House and in the cafeterias of both Houses of Congress, it would contribute to a balanced diet and maybe a balanced budget”.  Nice spin job Erica.  The USAPLC could have condemned the remark; instead it turned it into a teachable moment.

 This is not the first vegetable brou-ha-ha in Washington.  Remember when President George H.W. Bush talked about his loathing of broccoli?  He had to apologize.  

 Of course, for most Americans, if the President and Congress don't make a deal and find a way to create policy to help pull us out of this recession, even peas may be too expensive for dinner tables all over the country.  If the politicians want pain, then they will have it. 



Categories: Becker’s Digital Notebook