Eating is a big business for presidential hopefuls, who spend months stuffing their faces with regional favorites in an attempt to connect with the people.
In Iowa, this means hitting up a Pizza Ranch if you want any chance of securing the Republican nomination.
Founded in Hull, Iowa in 1981, Pizza Ranch has become the largest fast-casual pizza chain in the Midwest, with store locations in 13 states and a bevy of cheap pizza options to feed the hungry masses. Republicans hold a special fondness for it because of the chain’s not-so-subtle Christian leanings. It’s mission statement? To “glorify God by positively impacting the world.”
Pizza Ranch became a good luck charm for Mike Huckabee, who leaned on it heavily for his 2012 campaign strategy (he won the state).
“They’ve got all those nice little side rooms,” Huckabee’s campaign manager told USA Today. “You get a couple pizzas there, and you might get a little action.”
With 2016 hopefuls now lining up their Pizza Ranch appearances, here are our predictions for what they’ll order on the campaign trail:
1. Jeb Bush: For some reason, Jeb seems like a ranch dressing man. I imagine he would blow by pizza and, instead, enjoy the bacon-and-chicken Ranch Wrap with a side of #ranch chips. Maybe he’d start with the #ranch potato wedges and #ranch (garlic bread) sticks. Jeb and #ranch, I’m calling it now.
2. Mike Huckabee: Huckabee is probably a master of the Pizza Ranch menu by now. Fittingly, there’s a Trailblazer pizza, featuring pepperoni, Canadian bacon, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and green peppers.
3. Rand Paul: Paul is a wisp of a fellow, so a mini-pizza (only $4.99!) would be less likely to overwhelm him. I hope he’d make a bold move on toppings and go with something totally wacky like the chicken and broccoli alfredo.
4. Marco Rubio: While he’s been vocal about his Pizza Ranch excitement, I can’t imagine him really wanting to get messy with a slice or three. I think he’d probably be drawn to the “saucy chicken” option, which offers a relatively mess-free sesame sauce. Bonus: the menu describes it as “sassy”!
5. Chris Christie: The biscuit-and-gravy breakfast pizza really has Chris Christie written all over it. He’ll probably just opt to sample from the entire menu, though.
[via USA Today]