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Barack Obama‘s surprise visit to Ben’s Chili Bowl on Saturday has generated so much attention—-on newspapers, blogs, TV, and YouTube—-that the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council has decided to add its own cheese to the overblown event.

In a press release issued yesterday, the Council noted:

President-Elect Barack Obama’s visit to the DC landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl for a half-smoke
yesterday reflects his excellent and all-American taste in cuisine.

According to National Hot Dog & Sausage Council President Janet M. Riley, “His stop yesterday shows that while the most sophisticated chefs in America may be vying for his palate, American hot dogs and sausages were the ‘wieners’ this weekend in Washington.”

Sheesh, talk about trying to make something digestible from scraps. But the Council didn’t stop there. It had to flaunt its regional bias in how to top a hot dog, right there at the bottom of the release:

Given Obama’s Chicago home, the Council is optimistic that he will adhere to one of the Councils’ — and the Windy City’s — cardinal etiquette rules: no ketchup on hot dog after the age of 18. Under Council rules, First Children Malia and Sasha are exempt from the ketchup restriction — at least for a few more years.