The Washington Post

Rubio’s key-lime pie plan: is it really so ridiculous?

Sen. Marco Rubio’s key-lime pie proposal might not be so ridiculous. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio held up the idea of making key lime pie the official pie of the United States as an example of a laughable idea (unlike his desire to exclude the debt limit from budget talks, which he argued was perfectly reasonable).

“This is not a trivial objection,” the Florida Republican said during a speech on the Senate floor arguing against debt-limit talks. “I’m not asking that the key lime pie be made the official pie of the United States. I’m not asking for some ridiculous thing.”

But wait, would that really be such a crazy idea? Key lime is the official state pie of Florida — and the Sunshine State is populous and politically powerful. And surely, he couldn’t have meant that the very idea of having a national pie (regardless of the flavor) was itself silly. After all, we essentially have a national bird (the bald eagle was made the nation’s emblem in 1782), and Congress routinely names months and days after awareness of obscure diseases and scourges (a happy belated National Invasive Species Awareness Week, everyone!), so a national pie certainly couldn’t be regarded as too trivial a matter for Congress to address.

And then there’s the most powerful argument in the “pro” column: Key lime pie happens to be quite delicious.

Though it turns out, maybe Rubio is as savvy as his boosters say he is — or perhaps he’s got a good mastery of polling. According to the American Pie Council, key lime isn’t even among the top five pies preferred by Americans. So if we were to adopt a national pie, key lime would have to fight an uphill battle (enterprising lobbyists, take note). Apple (of course) is first, followed by pumpkin, pecan, banana cream, and cherry.

Now there’s a debate worthy of the Senate.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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