By Halimah Abdullah
Ann Romney is partial to her daughter-in-law’s butternut squash soup, "Anna Karenina" and the Internet’s newest trend, Pinterest.
The would-be first lady, whose husband is running for the GOP nomination, uses the social networking site to "pin" family photos, recipes and campaign snapshots to a virtual board. As of Wednesday, Mrs. Romney had over 4,500 followers. By comparison, TODAY's page has nearly 9,000 followers, while other Pinterest powerhouse Martha Stewart has over 23,000.
"I love to cook, and I was honored to have some of our supporters join us in serving my chili at a cookout at Scanman Farm in NH before Mitt’s campaign announcement," she wrote under a photo of her and her husband serving up chili.
For the candidates' spouses, social media offers a glimpse of life on the trail and what they like to do in their downtime.
Ahead of Tuesday’s Alabama and Mississippi primaries, Newt Gingrich’s wife Callista tweeted about her visit to several Southern sites. "Enjoyed our visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the 16th Street Church today," she wrote and included a photo on the steps of the Baptist church where four African-American girls died in a racially motivated church bombing during the Civil Rights movement.
First lady Michelle Obama tweeted a special holiday message to her husband back in February: "Happy President’s Day to my personal favorite, @BarackObama."
But Ann Romney’s presence on Pinterest is getting the most buzz. She has a penchant for patriotic food: Red, white and blue frosted cupcakes. "Independence Punch" with layers of red and blue juice toped by a thick block of white ice. Even red, white, and blue Chex mix.
Ann didn’t get a chance to make her husband his favorite "meat loaf cake" for his recent 65th birthday, since he was campaigning in Alabama and Mississippi. However, his campaign encouraged supporters to "pull out the apron, preheat the oven, and enjoy this great recipe right out of Ann’s kitchen."
Short on ingredients? "Just pin this recipe on Pinterest and cook it up later," the campaign urged.
Romney’s Pinterest followers are fans of her recipes — especially the meat loaf cakes.
"We’ve been making this since you shared the recipe in 2007," wrote Christine Gardiner. "We call it Mitt loaf."
TODAY.com political contributor Halimah Abdullah is the site’s woman in Washington.