The Wall Street Journal:
Raised by a Midwestern grandmother, Sen. Obama didn’t begin to slim down until he played basketball regularly in high school.
These days he stays away from junk food and instead snacks on MET-Rx chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and drinks Black Forest Berry Honest Tea, a healthy organic brew. (Sen. McCain is said to have a weakness for Butterfinger candy bars, jelly beans, and coffee and doughnuts from Dunkin’ Donuts.)
On a campaign stop in May at Lew’s Dari-Freeze in Milwaukie, Ore., Sen. Obama’s wife, Michelle, and their two daughters ate ice-cream sundaes and onion rings, while Sen. Obama grinned for the cameras and swirled a spoon around in his quickly melting ice-cream concoction, taking only a few nibbles.
During a July family appearance on “Access Hollywood,” Sen. Obama’s 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, revealed that her dad doesn’t like ice cream or sweets. “Everybody should like ice cream,” she said.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a self-described “recovering foodaholic” who shed 110 pounds from his 5-foot-11 frame in two years and made fitness and nutrition central to his White House run, says voters “probably want someone who takes care of his health ... as an example of the kind of personal discipline necessary to do the job.”
But too much time in the gym can cause problems, as Sen. Obama learned last month after he made three stops to local Chicago gyms in one day, for a total of 188 minutes. The marathon workout session sparked a widely circulated Associated Press article titled “Obama Becomes a Gym Rat.” In it, the reporter wrote, “Sometimes it’s hard to tell if Barack Obama is running for president of the United States or Mr. Universe.”
Republicans have recently picked up on the senator’s fitness regimen. On Wednesday, the McCain campaign launched a new ad titled “Celeb” that compares Sen. Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. In a memo to reporters explaining the ad, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis wrote, “Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day.”
AP photo / Jae C. Hong
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, center, gets a loose ball during a “3-on-3 Challenge for Change” basketball game at Maple Crest Elementary School in Kokomo, Ind., in April.