President George W. Bush will leave Washington, D.C., the city where I, a boy from Houston, now reside, every bit as divided as it was when he first hit town. This is too bad, but a far bigger disappointment is that he has not spent a farthing of his political capital attempting to bring Texas smoked sausage to the Beltway.

Because could we not have united already around the link? Seriously. Here we have a foodstuff that resembles America’s cherished diversity (it’s a meaty melting pot of pork and beef and, if you choose, jalapeño and cheese), a delicacy whose form we instantly recognize (it’s George W.’s beloved hot dog, supersized), a snack that represents both our diplomatic abilities (it plays well with other comestibles, such as pickles) and our tendency to pridefully go it alone (perfectly smoked, it requires no assistance). The sausage is defiantly comfortable in its own skin, a quality we celebrate in our public figures and labor to instill in our children. Like our greatest national heroes, it is strong yet supple; a few hours in the pit hardens it into a Pentagon-like ring of utter impregnability, but the subtlest give is detected when teeth are applied, and then, faster than you can say Condoleezza, resistance collapses and juices flow. The carnivorous delirium that ensues is better than sex. It’s better than a classified news leak. And in this part of the world, I am sorry to report, it’s a hell of a lot scarcer than both.

— Author Robert Draper maintains that after his father’s barbecue, everything else is a poor second.