The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

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    Confucius say, You will vote for Obama?

    By Jennifer 8. Lee | November 11, 2007

    Reporters at the Jefferson Jackson dinner in Iowa were scarfing done fortune cookies provided by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign as they were the only things they had to eat. Per Garance’s France-Ruta‘s observations:

    The Obama campaign’s Iowa spokesman Tommy Vietor walked by the press riser, at one point, tossing fortune cookies to reporters and cameramen, like fish to waiting seals. Cracked open, the cookies contained the message, “Paid for By Obama for America,” with a little union bug. On the reverse, they read “Iowans Will Caucus for Obama” and “You are fired up. Obama is ready to go.”

    Here is a slightly out-of-focus fortune presented by Ana Marie Cox.

    Ana Marie Cox and Barack Obama fortune cookie

    Those are actually pretty bad fortunes (Barack Obama needs new fortune cookie writers, or his speechwriters needs to get in on the game). But fortune cookies have a long history in political campaigns, specifically presidential ones. In 1960 alone (the first recorded time they were used in a political season), they were used in both the Adlai Stevenson campaign and the Stuart Symington campaign. Abraham Beame used them in his 1965 New York mayoral race and someone even presented presented Chicago Mayor Richard Daley with green fortune cookies as a prank in 1972.

    (Thanks to Tait Sye for passing along the Obama tip)

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