Ron DeSantis Is Allegedly the Latest Politician With Unhinged Eating Habits

The Florida governor reportedly ate chocolate pudding with his fingers.

Chocolate pudding photo by vikif via iStock/ Getty Images Plus.

Some truly damning material has turned up on Florida governor and potential presidential candidate Ron DeSantis: Once, allegedly, he scarfed down a chocolate pudding with his hand. According to two sources in the Daily Beast, DeSantis ate his dessert by scooping it with three fingers during a 2019 private plane flight. “He would sit in meetings and eat in front of people,” a former DeSantis staffer also told the Daily Beast, “always like a starving animal who has never eaten before… getting shit everywhere.”

New York magazine called it the controversy that “will end his 2024 bid.” Honestly, though? Politicians have been outed for weirder and grosser eating habits. Here are some of the top incidents in recent history, ranked:

5. Nancy Pelosi eating hot dogs every day

Nancy Pelosi spent more than 35 years in Congress, yet somehow we only recently learned that the former Speaker of the House eats a hot dog with mustard and relish every day. And that’s not all: Apparently, Pelosi also regularly eats chocolate ice cream for breakfast. As a reporter for Insider, who attempted to replicate her diet, accurately noted, she “follows the diet of a wealthy toddler with zero parental supervision.” It’s all truly excessive, but at least hot dogs and chocolate ice cream are objectively delicious. We have to give some props to an octogenarian who can get away with such a diet and still pull on a slim pantsuit.

4. John Kasich eating pizza with a fork and knife

In 2016, the then-governor and presidential hopeful was ridiculed for eating a New York slice with a fork and knife. (He’s far from the only politician to make this classic faux-pas: Bill De Blasio and Donald Trump are among the guilty.) Kasich attempted to soothe the outrage during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, where he explained, “It was so hot, and I made a terrible mistake: I picked up a fork.” Excuses, excuses.

3. Donald Trump’s ketchup habit

The only thing more sacrilegious to the foodie class than searing a perfectly good steak into oblivion is pairing it ketchup, as the former President was reported to have done. Sources who’ve served the former President have told Washingtonian that those allegations may have been overblown and that the ketchup was, in fact, for his fries.

Still, there are plenty of other bonkers Trump-related ketchup stories. For example, Trump hotel staffers were given oddly specific instructions for presenting Trump with mini glass bottles of Heinz and ensuring he could hear the seal “pop.” And, of course, there’s the indelible image shared by Cassidy Hutchison, an aide to former chief of staff Mark Meadows. As she testified before Congress, Trump was so irate at then-Attorney General Bill Barr, he threw his lunch, shattering a porcelain plate, and leaving ketchup dripping down the wall.

2. Mark Warner’s microwaved tuna melt

In the early days of the pandemic, the Virginia senator posted an Instagram video of himself making his “specialty:” a tuna melt. He starts with a truly obscene amount of mayo, slops some canned tuna and slices of cheddar on top, and then—no, no, no—microwaves the whole thing. As it turns out, however, creating a cringey viral video was exactly the point. The “cooking” tutorial appears to have actually been a cleverly disguised PSA for proper hand-washing. Still, he actually ate it.

1. Amy Klobuchar eating salad with a comb

Sorry, but nothing will ever top this one. As a 2019 story from the New York Times tells it, an aide got a salad for the Senator as they prepared to fly to South Carolina in 2008. Missing, however, were utensils, and none were available on the plane. Klobuchar allegedly berated the aide, then (deep breaths) grabbed a comb out of her bag and proceeded to eat the salad with it, according to four (!!!) people familiar with the incident. She then directed a staffer to clean it.

At least DeSantis didn’t ask his staff to lick his fingers?

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.