Enjoying New England clam chowder during the inauguration is a fairly recent tradition in Washington. It’s been around since the 1980s when Ronald Reagan was sworn in, but Donald Trump is killing the warming practice.
The Boston company, Legal Sea Foods, hasn’t been approached by anyone in Trump’s inaugural committee and CEO Roger Berkowitz isn’t sure why, The Boston Globe reported. It could be that the company comes from a state that doesn’t vote for Trump. Legal made some ads mocking Trump’s sensitivity about his small hands as well, so that could also be the problem.
“It’s not partisan chowder,” he said. “This has nothing to do with politics. . . . Maybe this is the chowder that brings America together — who knows?” Sometimes it comes down to the last minute, however, and he’s still holding out hope.
A spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies explained that serving chowder isn’t happening under the new Trump administration. Trump’s spokesman for the Committee explained that he had no idea that the chowder was a tradition and that the company wanted to make the donation.
“If we don’t serve Legal Sea Foods, it’s not a decision made by Trump,” Boris Epshteyn said.
The tradition comes from President Reagan’s desire to have food from all 50 states served at his festivities. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) suggested Legal Sea Foods as the Massachusetts food. Every president since has copied the patriotic tradition.
For President Bill Clinton’s 1997 inauguration, Berkowitz personally delivered 40 gallons of their chowder to guests of Kennedy’s office. It was also served in 2013 to guests of former Gov. Deval Patrick’s pre-inaugural party in Washington.
If the efforts the company is making don’t lead to fruition, Berkowitz said that he’ll have to put an asterisk next to their company descriptions.