We Need to Talk About These Weird New York Times Presidential Candidate Interviews

The most interesting comfort food a candidate names is a “baked potato.”

confused kid

Getty Images

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

A week out from the first Democratic presidential debates, the New York Times interviewed 21 of the 24 candidates—but not Joe Biden—and asked all of them the same 18 questions. It’s a pretty fun concept, which, if not quite a substantive alternative to a debate, succeeds in illustrating just how weird and boring presidential candidates—and perhaps all of us, really—can be, when given the opportunity. Maybe they’d all have better answers if they slept more.

Here are the most interesting things we learned:

  • John Delaney’s favorite comfort food is a “grilled chicken sandwich…no sauce.” John Delaney’s favorite comfort food is John Delaney.
  • Marianne Williamson has no comfort food. Honestly, what the hell.
  • Eric Swalwell says he sleeps four hours every night and that his comfort food is “coffee,” like every other 38-year-old white guy in the East Bay.
  • Amy Klobuchar’s favorite comfort food is a “baked potato.”
  • Delaney’s hero is his wife.
  • Seth Moulton’s hero is his wife.
  • Jay Inslee’s hero is his wife.
  • Beto O’Rourke hero is his wife.
  • Steve Bullock’s hero is his wife.
  • Elizabeth Warren says her first international visit would be to “Central America,” which is actually an interesting answer to a question that a surprising number of people who won’t be president punted on. (I regret to inform several candidates that “one of our allies” is not a place.)
  • Kamala Harris says she cooks to relax: “Chop, chop, chop.”
  • Inslees sleeps “enough to be able to have dreams at night time and vision statements during the daytime.” Spoken like a normal person!
  • Bill de Blasio is embarrassed about wearing cargo shorts to the gym, which is not the part of his gym routine he should be embarrassed about.
  • Williamson is embarrassed about not being able to remember the last time she was embarrassed.

Watch all the answers here.

DONALD TRUMP & DEMOCRACY

Mother Jones was founded to do things differently in the aftermath of a political crisis: Watergate. We stand for justice and democracy. We reject false equivalence. We go after, and go deep on, stories others don’t. And we’re a nonprofit newsroom because we knew corporations and billionaires would never fund the journalism we do. Our reporting makes a difference in policies and people’s lives changed.

And we need your support like never before to vigorously fight back against the existential threats American democracy and journalism face. We’re running behind our online fundraising targets and urgently need all hands on deck right now. We can’t afford to come up short—we have no cushion; we leave it all on the field.

Please help with a donation today if you can—even just a few bucks helps. Not ready to donate but interested in our work? Sign up for our Daily newsletter to stay well-informed—and see what makes our people-powered, not profit-driven, journalism special.

payment methods

DONALD TRUMP & DEMOCRACY

Mother Jones was founded to do things differently in the aftermath of a political crisis: Watergate. We stand for justice and democracy. We reject false equivalence. We go after, and go deep on, stories others don’t. And we’re a nonprofit newsroom because we knew corporations and billionaires would never fund the journalism we do. Our reporting makes a difference in policies and people’s lives changed.

And we need your support like never before to vigorously fight back against the existential threats American democracy and journalism face. We’re running behind our online fundraising targets and urgently need all hands on deck right now. We can’t afford to come up short—we have no cushion; we leave it all on the field.

Please help with a donation today if you can—even just a few bucks helps. Not ready to donate but interested in our work? Sign up for our Daily newsletter to stay well-informed—and see what makes our people-powered, not profit-driven, journalism special.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate