Presidential Candidates Obama And McCain Get Caught With Hands In The Cookie Jar

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Just as the latest bailout plan was forming, a political plot to sweeten everyone's lives was being secretly worked out ...

"Caught in the political cookie jar"

in order to keep voters from voting for their favorite cookie instead of their favorite candidate the bakeries are doing away with more diverse flavors such as Macadamia nut and chocolate chip. Instead they are sticking to a traditional sugar cookie with an extra sweet icing on top.

In a time of financial bailouts and political uncertainty in the U.S., 51 local bakeries across America, from New York to California, have united in putting Barack Obama, Joseph Biden, John McCain and Sarah Palin in the cookie jar. With the hopes of adding some sugar, spice and things nice to a nasty and difficult election year the RBA (Retail Bakers of America) along with the help of bakeries in 23 states have started to offer the 2008 National Cookie Poll.

"RBA began the cookie poll for the 2004 election," says RBA President, Lynn Schurman, "Cookie sales were very accurate in predicting the winner." The 2008 Presidential polls have been open to the public since September 5. Gathering voter results over the last four weeks it tracks closely with the more recognized election polls run by CNN and Gallup Poll. The most recent Gallup Poll update shows Barack Obama at 50%, and John McCain at 42%, signaling a growing lead from the 8-point margin Obama held earlier in the campaign. The National Cookie Poll has the Democratic Party ahead with 11,809 cookies over the Republican Party's 8,787 cookies sold, also showing a significant lead for Barack Obama.

Award winning Chef and culinary pioneer, Chef Steve Pazyra, is doing his part to help lighten the country's mood by offering the benefit of his online bakery delivery experience to the National Cookie Poll. Chef Steve, who bakes and ships unique birthday gifts through the U.S., believes that by limiting the flavors available to choose from customers will most likely pick who they are voting for and not the cookie they love most. He said, "in order to keep voters from voting for their favorite cookie instead of their favorite candidate the bakeries are doing away with more diverse flavors such as Macadamia nut and chocolate chip. Instead they are sticking to a traditional sugar cookie with an extra sweet icing on top."

The cookie designs range from the known blue and red party colors to more elaborate creations. Some of these editable art pieces are finished with a delicate icing technique leaving a real life impression of the candidates on the cookie's face. Other cookies used to poll votes for this year's Presidential Election have very creative oversized caricatures resembling Barack Obama and John McCain on them. "People are loving the idea and having a great time," says Bonnie Headley of Costeaux French Bakery, Healdsburg, Calif.

A few bakeries have begun to break new ground and now offer cookies for the running Vice-Presidents as well. Cookies sold with Sarah Palin on the icing will count as a vote for the Republican Party while cookies bought with Joseph Biden on them will count as a vote for the Democratic Party.

To help spread the sweeter side of politics, Chef Steve decided to take his specialized online bakery website and jump feet first into the political fun. He has turned 1-800-Bakery.com into something of a live collection point where visitors can catch updates and information on the 2008 National Cookie Poll. Every Friday night cookie sales are tallied around the U.S. and reported back to the RBA. As votes come in curious observers can see the tallies on Chef Steve's website. There is also a list available of all local bakeries acting as voting booths. You can visit 1-800-Bakery.Com to find the bakery nearest you where you can cast as many of these sweet votes as you like. And if you don't find a voting bakery in your area, Chef Steve has set up an online option voters can use to select their particular confectionary candidate. "Oh, I think it's great. Anytime you can get fun, out of politics, it's something positive for a change," said Donna Trotter, an obviously overjoyed pastry customer.

The 2008 National Cookie Poll closes on Election Day November 4.

About 1-800-Bakery.com
1-800-Bakery.com is an online collection of some of America's finest bakeries. It is a digital showcase filled with recipes from the country's most talented pastry chefs. This online hub of bakeries offers select gourmet desserts available for overnight delivery anywhere in the Continental U.S. Their seductive assortments of lush and celebrated pastries serve all occasions including anniversaries, birthdays, special events and corporate gifts.

About the RBA
The Retail Bakers of America (RBA) is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit trade association located in McLean, VA whose membership consists of retail bakeries, industry suppliers, educators, students, culinary colleges and other industry partners, is committed to the success of the retail baking industry. Celebrating its 90th anniversary year, RBA works as the business partner and resource provider for bakers across the country, and is the nation's premier source for industry information.

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Stephen Pazyra
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