CAPITOL HILL (United British Press) — President Barack Obama intends in weeks ahead to outline a proposal to provide every American with fresh delicious churros at no cost, according to White House sources, who say the president has been “obsessed” with the idea since tasting one of the fried pastries for the first time earlier this month. The president intially wanted to include the proposal in his recent State of the Union Address, the sources say, but he was dissauded by his political advisers, who felt that Obama would be left open to Republican attack if, coming so soon after his call for free community college, he suggested a plan for universal dessert coverage.
The president seems to have been struck with the idea of giving a free churro to “anyone who wants to eat one” shortly into the New Year, after a brisk walk through Washington, D.C., gladhanding with residents, ended at a snack stand operated by Hamid Nagi. “He ordered a churro with the works — cinnamon, powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles,” says Nagi. “The moment he took the first bite, it was as if had seen God.” Sources close to the Oval Office say that this was all the president talked about for several days, with high-flying phrases such as “otherworldly flavor explosion” and “so this is what LSD must be like.”
“And then it dawned on him,” says one presidential adviser, “that millions of Americans don’t have access to the same experience. Because of income inequality, and food deserts, and price gouging by Big Churro. If we can give the people healthcare and college, then why not this?”
Democratic lawmakers are already bracing for partisan attacks on the new proposal, and working to coordinate their message. Several aides to Democratic congressional leaders, asked about the plan, urged their counterparts in the GOP to get on board with what they called “the right side of history — or at least the tasty side.” The Democrats then quoted the last Republican occupant of the White House, former President George W. Bush, who summed up his philosophy of compassionate conservatism with the now-famous line: “We have a responsibility that when somebody’s hungry for a delightful sweet-but-not-too-sweet snack, Government has got to move.”
In turn, Republicans charge that President Obama is governing solely by whim, without any broader agenda or limiting principle. “Where does it stop? First it’s churros, then strudels and eclairs, then cheesecakes and baklavas…” Republican Trey Gowdy (S.C.) told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer yesterday. “The power of confection should stay with the states, like our founders intended.” The GOP criticizes, too, that President Obama has given no indication how he intends to fund the new program.
Sources on both sides of the aisle say that the debate will ultimately involve the United Kingdom, as the American plan is compared to Britain’s own National Churro Service (NCS), which has been plagued recently by growing queues. Government figures show that the average wait time for a plain churro has risen over the past five years to nearly seven days, and the corresponding figure for a specialty churro — one with jam or perhaps Nutella — is almost three months. NCS administrators say they cannot find enough qualified job applicants to fully staff the 1,823 churro distribution centers across Britain, and they must therefore rely on churromaking immigrants.
Still, the public doesn’t seem to have soured on the idea of pastries for one and all. “A free churro six months from now is still a free churro,” says Dermot Smith, 34, of West Gloucestershireton. “Would I rather grub into my own pocket for one right now? Not really. I just ate.”