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Something about the combination of barbeque and politics makes political reporters salivate over writing a down-home story about how we’uns in Nawth Ca’lina don’t cotton to outsiders insulting our proud pork product.
 
There has been a run of these stories since news broke that Rick Perry once dismissed North Carolina barbeque as tasting like roadkill.
 
An interviewer asked me – in all seriousness, I think – whether that would hurt Perry in the North Carolina presidential primary.
 
No. If Perry gets that far, he’ll turn it into plus by eating barbeque all over the state and gushing about how he loves it now.
 
The real story is that we’ve identified the biggest threat to Perry’s campaign: his mouth. Every time he opens it, his poll numbers go down. I’ve heard of candidates shooting themselves in the foot, but Perry has a machine gun.
 
Unfortunately for Democrats, the odds are going up that the Republicans will nominate Mitt Romney, the one candidate who won’t scare the bejeesus out of voters and usher them back into the arms of President Obama.
 
As for barbeque and politics, we haven’t yet seen the obligatory quote from Rufus Edmisten that he would have been elected governor in 1984 if only he hadn’t said he was tired of eating barbeque.
 
Media alert: There are many reasons that Rufus didn’t win that year.  Barbeque was the least of it.
 
The greatest all-time barbeque quote came from that quintessential New Yorker Jim Valvano after he was hired as N.C. State’s basketball coach and immediately hit the statewide Wolfpack Club tour. Valvano said later: “I spent my first month here going to pig-pickings. I spent the second month going to the bathroom.”

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