Obama Could Lead Hot Dog Surge, Group Hopes

The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council claims the often-maligned hot dog may be staging a comeback after President-elect Obama made his first trip to the D.C. institution Ben's Chili Bowl this weekend.

Piggybacking off of the trip, the group claimed Obama's trip to the historically black business reflects Obama's "excellent" and "all-American" taste in cuisine.

"His stop yesterday shows that while the most sophisticated chefs in America may be vying for his palate, American hot dogs and sausages were the 'wieners' this weekend in Washington," said council President Janet M. Riley, playing off the word "winners."

Presidents have long been associated with pet foods. President Reagan was known for his love of jelly beans, while President Clinton was known for his affinity for Big Macs.

The Hot Dog & Sausage Council emphasized that hot dogs have a long presidential history, starting with President Franklin Roosevelt's serving them to King George VI during a visit in 1939.

The council also took care to gently reprimand the president-elect for not being familiar with the restaurant's specialty "half-smoke" hot dog, a larger, spicier hot dog popular in the D.C. region.

Obama visited the restaurant Saturday with Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty. When asked on the significance of the visit, Obama said: "It means I'm going to get a hot dog."

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