Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) claims her "favorite place" is Waffle House, the iconic breakfast-fare diner primarily located in the southeast.
But the restaurant that never closes could open up a nightmare for her candidacy. Her love for 24-hour waffles, hash browns, and jukeboxes raises serious questions about her commitment to progressive values.
While she could be accused of pandering—Atlanta, the site of the next Democratic debate, is home to more WaHos than any city—Warren's affection for it seems genuine.
"My gosh. Melody works at my favorite place, Waffle House," Warren said during a Facebook montage of her making calls to voters who have sent her donations. (The senator needs to travel far to enjoy her "favorite place" because there are currently zero Waffle House locations in her home state of Massachusetts.)
In another call made from one of its locations last month, Warren told a supporter, "I'm down here at the Waffle House." An aide posted a picture of her grinning in a booth while making the call, and she even took a picture—NOT a selfie—with the staff.
— Nora Kate Keefe (@norakatekeefe) September 28, 2019
Yet Warren's love could endanger her relationship with the left-wing grassroots propelling her candidacy.
Waffle House, Inc.'s political action committee and individuals with the company overwhelmingly favor Republican candidates and groups in their donations. Chairman Joe Rogers Jr. was a strong supporter of Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.
Since 2012, when Warren was first elected, groups and individuals associated with Waffle House have donated more than $220,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. They've given $50,000 in the 2020 cycle to the conservative Georgia Action Fund, which is backing Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.).
Warren wants to break up Facebook and take the pruning shears to Wall Street, but she's willing to fund the reactionary politics she seeks to destroy, just for some lip-smacking grits and being called "honey" by the night shift?
It remains to be seen whether her fans will forgive her taste for intolerance.