Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, and Other Politicians Eating Pizza (Photos)

See photos of Florida straw poll victor Herman Cain and other politicians eating pizza.

Tea Party favorite Herman Cain just won Florida’s Republican Presidency 5 straw poll, upsetting big guns like Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. In honor of the former pizza magnate’s victory, The Daily Beast takes a look at pizza on the political trail. See photos of Cain, Sarah Palin, John McCain, and other pols eating pizza.

Brooks Kraft / Corbis

Herman Cain

As the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, Herman Cain has had more experience with pizza than most politicians, which perhaps explains why he's not afraid to eat with his hands. Following Donald Trump and Sarah Palin's highly publicized pizza date earlier this year, Cain joined ABC News hosts Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein over a pie from DC's We, The Pizza. After commenting that the pizza "could've used more meat," Cain addressed Trump's slice-eating technique. "If you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth, maybe you believe you're supposed to eat pizza with a knife and a fork," he mused. "I was born with no spoon in my mouth so I learned to eat with my hands before I had a spoon and a fork."

Michael Appleton, New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

John McCain

As the 2008 election drew closer, John McCain and Barack Obama were spotted eating all over the country, showing their loyalty to various local haunts and their signature dishes. Following an appearance on “The View” in Manhattan in April of 2008, McCain ventured out to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where he gave a speech on homeowner aid and then got some pizza. The Arizona senator paid for a $3 slice of pepperoni with a $20 bill at Verrazano Pizza, and told the server to keep the change, garnering attention—at least briefly—for his generous tipping.


Bill Clinton

While in Naples for the G8 Summit in 1994 Bill Clinton made sure to sample the region's famous pizza Napolitana. Proprietor Ernesto Cacialli was so thrilled by Clinton's visit that he changed the name of his restaurant to Il Pizzaiola del Presidente (The President's Pizzeria).

Andrew Savulich, New York Daily News Archive / Getty Images

Sarah Palin and Donald Trump

Perhaps the most infamous, high-profile pizza summit in recent history involved Sarah Palin, Donald Trump and some contentious cutlery. The two on-again, off-again politicians garnered significant backlash after they were photographed using forks and knives to dig into slices at Famiglia's, an New York City chain restaurant in Times Square. Trump attempted to redeem himself after his fork faux pas offended New Yorkers and pizza lovers all over the country with a YouTube video explaining his technique. "This way you can take the top of the pizza off. You're not just eating the crust. I like to not eat the crust, so you can keep the weight down," he said.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

Hillary Clinton

John McCain wasn't the only one indulging in a cheesy slice on the 2008 campaign trail. While in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton stopped at local favorite Revello's Cafe for a square-cut pie.

Darren Hauck / AP Photo

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee was presumably attempting to prove his connection with middle America, inviting Milwaukee residents to join him at Olympic Lanes in 2008. A few hundred local supporters (and a media horde) gathered to bowl, drink Miller Light and, of course, eat pizza with the presidential hopeful.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Barack Obama

The people of Corvallis, Oregon, welcomed then-presidential candidate Barack Obama with open arms when he visited American Dream Pizza for what looks like an extra-gooey slice of veggie pizza. In addition to showing his love for the local fare, Obama worked the room campaign-style, even posing with a supporter's baby.

Jemal Countess / Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg wasn't mid-campaign when this picture was taken. Instead, the mayor of New York City was just one of many people eager to welcome Mario Batali's giant Italian food market Eataly to the city last fall. The mayor praised the food court's speedy opening as he seemingly enjoyed a fresh pizza. Good thing someone was there to wipe his mouth for him.

George Whitney / AP Photo

Gary Hart

The original Anthony Weiner, Gary Hart was a little-known senator from Colorado when he ran against Walter Mondale, John Glenn and Jesse Jackson for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984. Here he is on the campaign trail in March at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, trying to be a man of the people, grabbing a slice. Eventually Mondale prevailed, but the race went down to the wire, and he was considered for the vice presidential spot, though Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro instead. In 1987, he was considered a clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, but rumors surfaced of an extramarital affair with a woman named Donna Rice, and the rest, as they say, is history.

John Rooney / AP Photo

John Lindsay

Born and raised in New York, John Lindsay should have known how to eat pizza. He was mayor of the city from 1966 to 1973, and when he announced his reelection bid in March 1969, one of his first stops was to grab a slice while touring Brooklyn and Queens. At that time he was still a Republican, but he later launched a brief bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972, after he switched party.

Stan Honda, AFP / Getty Images

Pataki, Bush, Giuliani

Not one, not two, but three guys and a pizza place. George W. Bush was Texas governor and a GOP presidential hopeful in October 1999 when fellow Republicans George Pataki and Rudy Giuliani sandwiched him at Giovanni’s Restaurant in The Bronx, helping him during a two-day campaign swing through New York.

Suzanne Plunkett / AP Photo

Rick Lazio and Rudy Giuliani

Back in 2000, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was running for Senate in what was shaping up to be a dramatic race against Hillary Clinton. But Giuliani dropped out of the race in May of that year, and was replaced by Rep. Rick Lazio. At the time, there were rumors of bad blood between Giuliani and Lazio. But the two men were eventually able to put all that behind them, and Giuliani even joined Lazio for pizza in Brooklyn while on the campaign trail. Giuliani endorsed Lazio when he ran for governor nearly a decade later.

Eric Draper / AP Photo

Pat Buchanan

During Pat Buchanan’s run for president in 1996, he likened the building of momentum of his campaign to “peasants with pitchforks coming over the hill.” “We will go all the way. They will not stop us,” he said. On February 20 of that year, Buchanan captured a stunning victory over Bob Dole in the New Hampshire primary. That afternoon, before the votes were tallied, Buchanan took a break from the chaos to eat a slice of pizza in his hotel room.

Jeff Kowalsky, AFP / Getty Images

Al Gore

During his campaign for president in 2000, Al Gore launched a series of “school days” in which he would spend a day visiting a school to emphasize his commitment to education. “I learned in my work setting up the reinventing-government program that the most important insights and lessons by far actually come from the people who are doing the hands-on work,” he said. But his favorite part of the initiative may have been the food. During lunch at one school, Gore reportedly ate two slices of pepperoni pizza, two chocolate chip cookies, and half a brownie. 

Michael Springer, Zuma Press / Newscom

Joe Lieberman

While campaigning for president in 2003, Joe Lieberman got a slice of pizza at the Cheshire County Fair in Swanzey, New Hampshire. The state would turn out to be rather significant for Lieberman’s campaign. Months later, just before the New Hampshire primary in 2004, Lieberman said that his campaigning was gaining support and that he would do better than expected in the state and “surprise people.” He called it, “Joementum.” He ended up coming in fifth in New Hampshire and dropped out of the race the following week, without winning any primaries.