World of Women
How did a cookie bake-off become a legitimate election activity? Blame Hillary
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Forget the all important first presidential debate that takes place today, Americans have found far more pressing abilities to judge their future leaders on.
The traditional first lady 'Presidential Cookie Bake-off' has just taken place, and First Lady Michelle Obama's white and dark chocolate cookie recipe took out the top prize against Ann Romney's M&M cookie recipe, according to Family Circle readers.
So, while their husbands are competing to become US president, why are these intelligent and successful women (Obama is a Harvard-trained lawyer, Romney had a dressage horse competing in the 2012 Olympics) going head-to-head and co-operating with the chauvinistic idea that a woman's place is in the kitchen?
Blame Hillary Clinton.
Infamously quoted during her husband's 1992 presidential campaign that she "could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas" instead of making the unfeminine decision to continue working at a high-powered law firm, Clinton subsequently bore the brunt of an extreme backlash after offending cookie-bakers and stay at home mums.
As New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait put it, Clinton "worked feverishly to rebuild her shrewish image", and as part of her domestic rehabilitation, she agreed to take part in the "drearily demeaning ritual" against Barbara Bush to prove that she was in touch with her gender identity.
And, of course, it was a resounding success. Clinton's reputation was restored (and her recipe the winner).
So despite the old-fashioned bake-off perpetuating sexism, it has become etched into tradition that candidates' wives participate in the bake-off "in case they are declared Out of Touch With Middle America".
And now that it has been determined which first lady has the strongest baking skills, can we expect another four years for President Obama? Apparently yes.
According to Today Show food contributor Jillian Eugenios, the winner is a fairly accurate predictor of the campaign.
And if Hillary Clinton runs for 2016, will husband Bill go head to head in the cookie stakes against the opponent's spouse?
We can only hope.