In the very long and tiring journey that is the 2012 presidential election, it's easy to get swept away in the 24-hour news cycles, attack ads and mud slinging. Then again, that's tame compared to North Carolina's 14th Congressional District race.
The Campaign starts off with a scandal. Will Ferrell's Cam Brady, a four-time congressman who has run unopposed his entire political career, creates a major scandal as he mistakenly drunk dials his mistress and leaves a raunchy voicemail. Seizing the opportunity to unseat Brady are two wealthy brothers, who decide on the oddball son of a successful political strategist Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis).
Despite his very awkward early forays in the political arena, Huggins begins to pick up ground after being completely remodeled by a campaign manager and a series of unfortunate yet hilarious events for Brady. With the race suddenly getting tighter, both men pull no punches in an escalating game of political chicken to represent the Tarheel State and get elected to the congressional seat.
The film takes numerous jabs at the current political landscape, including the media's portrayal of candidates and the influence of private money, without being preachy (not one political issue is discussed in The Campaign, which is funny itself). Ferrell and Galifinakis both do what they do best in The Campaign: Ferrell's Brady is a charismatic, egotistical smooth talker with a heart of gold while Galifinakis brings the weird in full force. In other films the two are usually forced into putting the laughs on their backs, but thankfully The Campaign has a strong supporting cast: John Lithgow and Dan Akroyd as the wealthy scheming Motch brothers, Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott as Brady and Huggins' campaign managers, respectively.
After busting some ribs at the movie theater, Gut Check was inclined to "meet the people" like any good political candidate. People love hot dogs and hot dogs are 'merican, goddammit, so the perfect choice was Woofie's (1919 Woodson Road, Overland; 314-426-6291). In spite of some unfortunate political missteps with the meat in tube form arts (we're looking at you, Michelle Bachmann), Gut Check went with two classics at the classic joint: a "Woofie Dog" (known as a Chicago dog elsewhere) and the corn dog." The "Woofie Dog" was "dragged through the garden," meaning it came with all the fixings. Despite being stuffed to the gills, the poppy seed bun gave the proper support to hold everything intact. The corn dog had just enough cornmeal batter to coat the dog but not cake it on either. But the best part of Woofie's is the interior; its walls endorsed by signed head shots of local celebrities and a few famous visitors, too (such as Bill Cosby). Gut Check also found this gem plastered on the wall, as it's a fitting end to this political food adventure: