Though the Democratic and Republication national conventions are still months away, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the likely presidential candidates, barring contested conventions or an alien invasion. The Trump/Clinton race could turn out to be one of the nastiest and most entertaining in modern history, with these two polar opposites slinging barbs at each other and political pundits providing 24-hour-a-day play-by-plays of all the action.
With all of this political rhetoric, it's tough to keep up with the candidates. So how do you explain to a child what's going on?
One Miami couple decided to teach their daughter about the political process through breakfast. Sandy and Giselle Cueto have launched two breakfast cereals named for the frontrunners — Trumpies and Clinton Crunch — after their 7-year-old daughter, Hannah, came home with some serious questions: Is Trump good? Is Clinton good?
Sandy Cueto, an international attorney by trade, said he started thinking about how to answer their daughter in a constructive way. "We started to search online and came upon some old cereals. We decided to start a small business project to teach her about politics.
The family involved Hannah in the cereal names and box design. "We played around with names and used the Bruce Jenner Wheaties box for inspiration." With the help of an artist, Hannah worked with color and texture. "That was the fun part — to see the finished product."
Initially, there was a complete line of candidate cereals, including Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush brands, but their campaigns ran out of steam before production could start. The only wildcard was Bernie Sanders, but Cueto went forward with just the two presumptive nominees. "We decided to go into production full-steam. We've got the two candidates down, with seven months to go."
And just like in the real campaigns, each cereal has its own dedicated website. Trumpies, the breakfast of winners, touts it will "make breakfast great again." Clinton Crunch, on the other hand, is "the cereal that trumps all others."
Though there's actually cereal inside (Trumpies are cornflakes, and Clinton Crunch is a Cap'n Crunch-like variety), at $45 a box, they're meant more for collecting than eating. The cereals are sourced from a private supplier and are edible (although they, too are parodies —with vitamin "T" listed as a power source on the Trumpies).
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Though the boxes have the candidate's likenesses and the logos are reminiscent of actual brands, Cueto says his products are parody products protected by the First Amendment granting free speech. The attorney-turned-political satirist did have one secret desire: to be sued by Donald Trump. "It's all in fun, but wouldn't that kinda be a dream come true?"
Each brand has a limited run of 5,000 boxes, and each box is individually numbered and hand-stamped. Cueto says most people buy them as a conversation starter. "It's a fun thing to show around the office." Most people seem to buy one candidate or another. "I don't think you're going to collect them in an ironic way."
If we could call the election by breakfast right now, Trump would win hands down. According to Cueto, "Trumpies seem to have some pretty vocal supporters." Hannah, however, begs to differ. "All she'll eat for breakfast is Clinton Crunch."
Because Hannah isn't old enough vote yet, I asked her father who he was supporting. "It's a difficult one. This is such a polarized campaign. I'll sit it out for now and watch the fireworks."