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Barack Obama needs to comparison shop for his arugula

May 4, 2008 |  6:20 am

Last summer while campaigning in Iowa, Barack Obama told voters in the farm state: "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula? I mean, they're charging a lot of money for this stuff."

The comment was one of those that the Democratic presidential candidate probably wishes he had kept to himself -- it got ridiculed at the time, and periodically gets recycled by critics as a sign that Obama is an out-of-touch elitist (an image he perpetuated with his remarks about bitter attitudes in small-town America). A comment Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made in Iowa last summer about the price of arugula has continued to resonate on the campaign trail

Maybe, though, when it comes to his greens, Obama's just not a savvy shopper.

Times copy editor Jim Buzinski reports that at the 99 Cents Only store in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles, he recently bought an 11-ounce tub of pre-washed, organic baby arugula for ... 99 cents.

It's hard to get any less elitist than shopping at 99 Cents Only stores, so perhaps Obama should stock up the next time he's in Southern California.

The next task for our colleague Buzinski: find some cheap gasoline.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Ricardo DeAratanha/L.A. Times