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Lack of diners hurts NC politically

As I've watched the coverage of the campaigning for last week's Iowa caucus and today's New Hampshire primary, I kept hearing the same word over and over again: Diner. As candidates criss-cross those states, they make stop after stop in local diners, dishing up political propoganda with a side of toast. The more I heard about candidates in diners, I started to think it may be a reason why North Carolina is so insignificant in the primary process.

Think about it: if candidates are spending all their time in diners to woo voters, it's no wonder they don't spend much time or money in the Tar Heel State. After all, there are very few diners in these parts. Oh, there are some, including places like Jimbo's, Dixie Grill and Whitey's right here in Wilmington, but I'm not sure they qualify as true diners.

So what qualifies as a true diner? Well, I look to what may be the diner capital of the world: New Jersey. Just about everywhere you go in the Garden State, you can find a diner, and most of them look the same. Most of them have a lighted sign out front showing the name of the restaurant, which typically borrows the name of the town (among my favorites is the Somerset Diner just up the road from New Brunswick, where I've spent a good amount of time) or the name of the road it's on (Route 9 Diner). The buildings are often very distinct, featuring a rounded chrome and glass exterior with neon trim and big windows. Inside there's usually a counter as well as many tables and booths, a revolving cake/pie display case and the best hand-dipped milkshakes served in the big metal mixing cup they were made in so you can pour them into a cone-shaped paper cup in a specially-designed metal holder.

But the key is the schedule and the menu. First of all, a true diner must be open 24 hours a day seven days a week. Sure, you have Waffle House here, but chains don't count as true diners. As for the menu, well, if you've never been to a real diner, you have no idea. The entire menu must be available at all times, and it must include just about anything you can imagine. Seriously. I've been to diners where the menu practically looks like a copy of War and Peace. It is usually very tall, kinda the size of your average Rand McNally Road Atlas. Inside you can find breakfast foods of all types, burgers, chicken, steaks, Italian dishes, Greek food and much more. I'm not kidding when I tell you diners will have everything from egg sandwiches and French fries to souvlaki and Lobster Thermidor.

When you see the melting pot nature of diners, you can start to understand why they are so important to politicians. The wide variety of offerings brings in a wide variety of people, the favorite menu option of candidates. Also, diners in a way represent a slice of the American dream. Many are owned and operated by immigrant families who share their recipes and their hard-working spirit with customers. It all boils down to the perfect backdrop for a campaign stop.

So North Carolina, if you want to be a bigger player in the race for the White House, we must do what's necessary and build and patronize more diners. And if that's not possible, we could at least move our primary up from May.

By: Kevin Wuzzardo

Diner

I always say that. "Where are the diners?" Someday there will be one I am sure. Yeah with some good coffe. I can't wait. How bout Rt.40 Diner.

Here We Go Again...

Here we go again, someone who is telling the misinformed folks from NC how great it is up North. I wonder if anyone has considered that there may in fact be a culture clash going on with NC natives and neuvo riche northerners. Ever try talking to one?...it's the same stuff. We have; We had; We did; We won. Gimmie a barf bag!

would love a diner

I think that would be a great idea. Although I love living here better, I miss Diners. The food was amazing and lots to choose from. I had heard of a Diner trying to open here from Li, NY but was shot down for the 24 hr thing. I don't know, but I do wish we had one here. I think it definitaly would catch on... We'll see. Thanks Kevin for that, I think it's a good starting point!

Diner Fan

Well buddy I thought your blog was amusing. Although I didn't actually take it seriously. Keep writing.

Diners? You're kidding me!

I don't think the political clout of the state of North Carolina rests in the hands of people that frequent diners. First, NC people are more than not, slow to make changes. It would take awhile for enough of them to go and start eating in diners for them to form a politcal consensus. Next, enough of the social interaction that a supposed diner would facilitate already occurs here in our state. It's called WALMART! The next time you go there, just look and see how many people are standing around chatting about politics and blocking up the isles like a social hour nightmare. Most of the Walmart shoppers are already spending the better part of most any working person's dollar in the form of welfare and government aid and healthcare. Why should not that be a powerful politcal scene. And a final third note, diners favor the locl crowds. If you have not noticed, there ain't many of them locals left these days. Kevin, nice try bud, I'd like to think that it was as simple as this. When NC starts to have a dramatic increase in the union workers of America, then it might stand a chance of having a larger part into the politcal process of the nation. And personally, I'm ashamed of the ambulance chasing, $400 haircut, two-Americas far left liberal Edwards as well. He in no way speaks for the majority of us, locals or not.

Diners? Seriously?

I'm not sure how a blog entry like this can be taken seriously, but wow. Blaming diners for the political inactivism of North Carolinians is a bit absurd. Maybe if we didn't produce politicians on the National Stage (Edwards), who no one in his own state even liked, we'd get a bit more respect. And as far as diners, I doubt you'd truly find any better place for "heart of the people" diners than those you'd find in little towns across this state. All the famous BBQ road stops, famous hamburger and hot dog restaurants spread out across our state, they are most definitely there. It's just that NC isn't one of the "main" political states. Plus, they probably all think we're like Edwards ::shudders::