Ron Rosenbaum

The Media's Dunkin' Donuts Distortion

Readers of this blog know I’ve “dis-endorsed” Hillary Clinton, but that doesn’t mean I agree with every cheap shot taken at her and her campaign. Consider the Dunkin Donuts distortion.

I’m speaking of all the stories about her campaign’s fiscal recklessness that–in addition to legitimate examples–cite as some wild extravagance the fact that her campaign spent $1300 on Dunkin’ Donuts in the month of January.

Not to make a fetish of DC insider-bashing (see posts below) but I’d suggest this is the political reporters’ version of George H.W. Bush’s “cash register moment”, the one that suggests just how out of touch they are.

Do the math: that’s 42 dollars worth of donuts per day for campaign competing in some 24 states in the January leading up to Feb. 5’s Super Tuesday.
Now in the Dunkin’ Donuts across the street from me in Manhattan I pay 99 cents for a cinnamon sugar-dusted donut (best evs!). If you go creme-filled, sprinkle-topped or jelly-filled, you’re going to pay more. Considering that Manhattan prices are probably among the highest in the land, let’s cut that in half and say that cost-per-donut nationally is half that: 50 cents.

So that’s 84 donuts for 24 states. In other words 3 and a seventh donut per state, many of which had hundreds, if not thousands of campaign workers. Extravagant? I don’t think so.

I think beltway bound reporters are so out of touch with Dunkin’ Donuts culture they may be missing the real machiavellian purpose of Hillary’s campaign reporting $1300 in Dunkin’ Donut expenditure. They probably paid thousands more (and thousands more in Starbucks lattes went unreported) because they counted on DC reporters to mention the donuts. Which would serve the campaign’s purpose in identifying Hillary with the blue collar Dunkin’ Donuts demographic as opposed to the caricatured latte drinking Obama supporters. Dollars to donuts that’s what was really going on.

Poor Hillary, if it was ploy, it failed. Or maybe it succeeded in building Hillary’s donut brand identification, but it just didn’t matter to the Dunkin’ demograhic. But of course the real scandal was not the donut expenditure but the millions of dollars wasted on the “strategists” and “consultants” who have been revealed to be Dunkin’ Dunces. With brains as empty as donut holes.