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Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, "known for his unorthodox positions, is now trying an unorthodox campaign tactic," says Dan Amira at New York: "He's releasing a cookbook." The 2012 edition of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook was unveiled this week — just in time for Christmas — and is available for $8 plus shipping through the Texas congressman's presidential campaign website. At a time when his GOP rivals are releasing serious memoirs and political tomes, why is Paul publishing a cookbook? Here's what you should know:
Is it really a cookbook?
Yes. The slim volume includes "28 pages of tasty recipes from the Paul family and friends," along with Paul family photos and wife Carol Paul's "The American Dream," a brief history of Ron Paul and his family. Cookbooks are actually something of an annual Ron Paul family tradition. "No official word yet on whether the recipes are any good," notes The Huffington Post.
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What does a cookbook have to do with presidential politics?
The $8 purchase price counts as a contribution to Paul's presidential campaign. But Team Paul is also pitching the pamphlet as "one of the best campaign handouts you will ever find." Paul has already written the apparently obligatory biographical and policy-oriented books, as well as overtly political pamphlets. But his campaign says that some Paul-curious voters "will pay more attention to the cookbook than to typical campaign literature."
Is there a libertarian flavor to the recipes?
That's not clear yet. But the commentariat is having fun imagining a healthy dash of Paul's trademark libertarianism in the recipes. Surely the book "will allow you to cook any way you’d like," quips Jonathan Lemire in the New York Daily News. New York's Amira goes a step further, coming up with actual faux directions to make, for example, raspberry scones: "Who are we to order you how to make a raspberry scone. You're an American. You have the God-given right to make your raspberry scones however you choose." Or for Zesty Texas Frittatas: "The only recipe you should be paying attention to was written in 1787. It's called the Constitution, and it's a recipe for freedom."