With her poll numbers sagging as the 2016 presidential primary season draws near, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is trying to engage voters any way she can. On Monday Clinton took to Facebook for a Q-and-A session, covering a wide range of topics. Among the most pressing: her stance on Starbucks' most famous drink, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. As it turns out, Clinton is anti-PSL.
The standard Pumpkin Spice Latte, according to Starbucks' website, packs 380 calories into a 16 ounce beverage — that's a "grande" in 'Bucks parlance. Replace the 2 percent milk with non-fat, get rid of the whipped cream, and drop the size down to an 8 ounce "short," and the PSL checks in at only 130 calories. The question and response sparked a lively discussion, with comments ranging from the calm and rational, to the way-too-serious for a Facebook chat.
And because this is Hillary Clinton making a statement on something, the political press was quick to pounce. Over at the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza hammered Clinton on her stance.
Sometimes a politician says something so outrageous that you can't just let it go uncommented on. This is one of those days. ... What's that you say? What about Clinton's point about how many calories are in the PSL? Here's the drink's nutritional info -- via Starbucks -- for a grande (that's a "medium" to normal people) with 2 percent milk: 310 calories and seven grams of fat. That's practically good for you! Especially when you consider downing a grande 2 percent Salted Caramel Mocha (360 calories) or a grande 2 percent White Chocolate Mocha (400 calories).
Perhaps this is an attempt by Clinton to change the narrative and shift the spotlight away from her ongoing email controversy. Either way, the Pumpkin Spice Latte question was clearly the most important of the entire Q-and-A.
Eater reached out to Starbucks, but so far the Seattle-based coffee giant has declined to comment.
It remains to be seen what kind of impact Clinton's PSL stance will have on the 2016 race for the White House. Back in July, President Barack Obama slammed the New York Times over its suggested inclusion of green peas in guacamole, and GOP contender Jeb Bush came out in agreement with that statement. It can't be a coincidence that since then, Bush's poll numbers have dropped considerably.