Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chicken Politics

From the Seattle Coffeehouse in Gwangyang, Republic of Korea: If I ask a Southerner at the USMMA about Chick-fil-A, he or she will often rave about the crispy chicken sandwich the restaurant serves up. If I ask someone from the Northeast, a blank stare is likely, the same way that you'll catch me with if you ask me about Jack-in-the-Box (never been there). The chicken establishment's sole presence in DC is a new food truck and a limited selection at the Catholic University's food court. To get a Metro-rail accessible chicken fix, take the orange line to Ballston Commons Mall, or the blue line to Crystal City; both across the Potomac River in Arlington County, VA. Based on what I've seen in the news and on comments forums on those news articles, I'm not expecting a Chick-fil-A in DC anytime soon. To date, there has been a correlation between conservative-controlled districts and the existence of Chick-fil-A. Especially in the DC area. For example, in Maryland, its presence is minimal in DC's suburbs; yet there is one every few miles along I-95 in the Northeast part of the state; and there's a whole line of 'em down State Route 2. Easier to see, take a map, paint red each county with a conservative-controlled government (conserva-Dems included), add the state's two Republican congressmen, and locate the Chick-fil-A's. It'd be a peculiar business strategy if the company intentionally expanded this way, but Chick-fil-A is now breaking new ground up north, but not without resistance by elected officials. In Boston, according the the DC Examiner, Mayor Thomas Manino had tried to block Chick-fil-A from opening shop, but had no legal ground. In Chicago, the mayor raised a storm as well. Says Mayor Rahm Emanuel: "Chick fil A's values are not Chicago values". I wonder what the Chamber of Commerces of Boston and Chicago think. And the same news from DC's mayorial bullpen: "Gray, a Democrat, referred to the company's product as "hate chicken" in a tweet on Friday. His statement... followed similar statements by mayors in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco that the company was not welcome" (AP). (Don't make me feel bad, Vincent). But, from the DC Examiner, "Robert Turner, president of D.C. Log Cabin Republicans, provided his thoughts on the matter to Yeas & Nays. He sees no issue with enjoying a spicy chicken sandwich and also supporting the right of two men or women to walk down the aisle together. "No problem at all," he said. "At the end of the day, if one looks deeply at the companies one patronizes -- eating at Chick-fil-A, shopping on Amazon, ordering a Coke with your meal -- you'll find a multitude of issues where you and that company disagree." http://washingtonexaminer.com/d.c.-log-cabin-republicans-dont-mind-eating-at-chick-fil-a/article/2502621 And in New York City, Chick-fil-A is noticeably absent, except for a small presence in the NYU cafeteria. I wouldn't expect a branch to open in the East Village, but a Chick-fil-A would blend into one of Great Neck's storefronts. And the Subway sub shop would see some competition for midshipmens' dollars.

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