Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner, is attempting to get a Trump appointment as Agriculture secretary. He will be meeting with Trump’s entourage today at the Mar-a-Lago resort. Miller is most famous for granting “amnesty” to cupcakes from nutrition regulations for school lunches. He also once called Hillary Clinton the c-word on Twitter. And now, he’s trying to rebrand himself as a champion of healthy living.
Miller’s grasp on the position is ambiguous. People have speculated that Trump may use the slot for a diversity hire. But if Miller’s rhetorical facelift is an indicator, anyone who fills the spot will have to adapt to the legacy of Michelle Obama’s healthy eating agenda.
Of Michelle, Miller said, “I think we have the same end goals, but we have different ideas about how to get there.”
Miller, unsurprisingly, has dug himself an extremely deep hole in public opinion through the things he has said and done. He did apologize for the infamous tweet, but blamed it on one of his staff. He works in an office decorated with taxidermied animals bought $33,00o of campaign money, once compared Syrian refugees to “rattlesnakes,” and is known for giving oversized bonuses to members of his staff. In the first nine months of holding office, he gave his staff $400,000 worth of bonuses.
He also once held a press conference while standing in front of a cupcake truck to declare them fit for consumption by schoolchildren. A “full pardon” was then granted to cookies, brownies and other desserts. He also allowed schools to once again use deep fryers to prepare food. And now, out of nowhere, he’s talking about putting locally-grown produce on the lunch trays of those same kids.
Unsurprisingly, he is seen by many Texans as a political opportunist who mortgages their children’s health for his own gain. In Texas, one in five kids between ages ten and seventeen qualify as obese.
Despite his paean to junkfood, deep fryers have been largely blocked from re-entering Texas school kitchens by federal nutrition regulations.
Miller has been a staunch Trump supporter since the nascent stages of his presidential campaign. And he is quick to draw comparisons between himself and Trump.
Regarding his job as head of the Texas Agriculture Department, he said, “I look at this like I’m running a fortune 500 company. How do I please my stockholders, which is all teh voters in Texas? That’s just how I approach it. It’s a common sense, business-style approach.”
Miller is competing for the Ag Secretary job with his Texas predecessor Susan Combs, who has openly castigated Miller over his cupcake showboating.
“They don’t have a Hispanic yet and they could use another woman or two, but it kind of hurts my chances,” he said about his potential appointment. “But we’ll see. We’ve never had [an Ag Secretary] from Texas.”
We can’t wait.