Cookies and Campaigns…Posted By: Marla Romash on 10/24/11
It was one of those forehead-slapping questions. It came at the end of one of our friendly political debates, with me taking up the cause of the Democrats and Jason and Kevin arguing for the Republicans on the issue du jour. I’d drop off cookies at their supermarket and it would begin. Except this time, it ended with Jason asking, “Why haven’t you ever done anything that combines your cookies and your politics?”
They’d always been separate. Of course when I first went to Chevy Chase Supermarket to convince them to sell my cookies, it was Kevin Kirsch I met. A friend had sent me to see Kevin or his brother Jason, thinking their family-owned supermarket would be a good customer for me. And just as I was explaining to Kevin why he had never met me in all his years in the food business, I looked up at the bookshelf in his office. There displayed front cover- to- front cover (not good enough to simply advertise their spines) was every conservative Republican book you could imagine. Reagan. Palin. Hannity.
“I think I’m in the wrong place,” I told him then, starting the first of our political conversations. Kevin didn’t order any cookies that day, but he did when he called a few days later.
And here we were, months later, by the check out lanes, ending another political conversation. “Why haven’t you ever done anything that combines your cookies and your politics?” Jason asked. “You know, like Democratic Cookies or something.” And so started a summer examining the idea.
I had spent a lifetime in politics – as a newspaper and television reporter, as a press secretary and communications director and media consultant, through more campaigns than I could count, including a few Presidentials. As Sen. Al Gore’s communications director, I was especially lucky to be part of the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign and then, the White House staff. I left the White House and became a political consultant. Then, frustrated by the direction of the country (including Gore’s 2000 win that turned into a loss), I’d turned a passion for baking into a career as a Pastry Chef, even taking a sabbatical one year to attend professional pastry school at L’Academie de Cuisine.
And here we are: The Political Cookie Company: a way to combine my passion for politics and pastry, balancing my Democratic thinking with Kevin and Jason’s Republican thinking – all with a pinch of humor and a grain of salt. Enjoy!