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Politics & Policy

Joe vs. Sourdough: Which will last longer, the president or this loaf of Boudin bread?

The image is split into two halves: the left side shows a sliced loaf of bread on a plate, while the right side features an older man in a suit and tie against a bright orange background.
Calls for the incumbent to step aside are only growing louder, so we ask: Can the president outlast this loaf of San Francisco sourdough? | Source: Tâm Vũ/The Standard and Natalie Schrik/Drew Altizer Photography

The SourJoe Live Cam

Every American icon has a shelf life, even the crustiest. Has Joe Biden’s sell-by date arrived? 

The fallout from the June 27 presidential debate continues to mount, with professional and amateur oddsmakers now favoring the possibility that the Democratic incumbent may bow out of his increasingly unsteady re-election effort.

When British Prime Minister Liz Truss faced a similarly grim scenario in 2022, a U.K. newspaper, the Daily Star, memorably evoked her ephemerality by livestreaming an unrefrigerated head of iceberg lettuce to see which would have more staying power. The lettuce won.

Here in San Francisco, we know from experience that politicians can hold on past the point when any reasonable person would have called it quits. So we’re measuring Biden’s candidacy against a different foodstuff: a loaf of sourdough from a bakery that’s been around even longer than Lunch Bucket Joe (Boudin was born in 1849, Biden in 1942). 

That’s right. We’re asking: Who will last longer, Biden or Boudin*? 

The Boudin sourdough loaf, bought at a San Francisco Costco, on Monday, July 8, at 3:40 pm:

The image depicts a loaf of bread sliced and reassembled into a spherical shape, placed on a white plate on a wooden table, with a plain white background.
Will sliced stack of sourdough remain edible for longer than the president remains committed to re-election? | Source: Tâm Vũ/The Standard

In San Francisco’s original sourdough, the president faces a formidable competitor. The acid in sourdough helps ward off mold, and the moisture content is relatively low. While most of California labors under a heat dome, the city’s famously cool summers should delay the inevitable by a few days. (Things would go south much more rapidly in, say, Washington, D.C.)

Is Biden toast, or will he rise again? Should he go soft, will Vice President Kamala Harris make like a bread truck and haul buns right into the Oval Office, or does Gov. Gavin Newsom have it in the bag? 

However you slice it, we’ll be covering this race in grainy detail, so check back for updates, and keep an eye on our SourJoe LiveCam above.

*The beloved bakery has nothing to do with another Boudin, Chesa, who San Francisco voters recalled in 2022. Biden easily outlasted him.