Our friends at Krispy Kreme are at it again. To commemorate the historic day that will be next Tuesday, when President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath office in the nation’s capital, all Krispy Kremes are giving away a free donut to all of its customers. That’s right. No purchase necessary. You go in, say, “I want my free donut!”, or perhaps even, “Hey, this is an awesome day. We have a new President. Give me my donut!”, or better yet, “Hey, we now have a President who speaks in complete sentences and who has lived in other countries. Would you please give me a free donut to celebrate?!”

That’s right. As a way perhaps to back-end their other free donut promotion on Election Day, Krispy Kreme is giving everyone a chance to have a little sugar bomb as they take in all the festivities of that day, whether they are lucky enough to be in the frigid DC crowds or in the comfort of their toasty couches catching all the hoopla on TV. According to their official statement (I know, such formality!):

“Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is honoring American’s sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies – just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet “free” can be.”

I am not sure what the link is between donuts and Inauguration Day (which, by the way, is not a holiday, despite what some may think). It actually doesn’t cost Krispy Kreme much to actually give their confections away anyways. Especially with their new “mini” donuts, created so as to entice you that they’re not that bad as their bigger cousins, I mean —who eats just one? They know you’ll cave in and bring in a dozen for the office or that you will scarf down a six-pack easy as you get back on the highway. So there. In any case, thanks Krispy Kreme. While I shouldn’t be eating this stuff (got to stick to my New Year’s Resolution!) –yes, I realize it’s free—I applaud you for recognizing the enormous significance of this day whilst also fattening up more Americans.

Not to be outdone, evil rival Dunkin Donuts has a similar promotion. Except it isn’t free. Starting tomorrow and running through Inauguration Day, the donut giant has unveiled its own new Star Spangled Donut, a glazy, drippy, sugarized fortress that happens to be, natch, red, white and blue (in that order). Yes, ostensibly it is because of the new President and this historic day. Well, Dunkin Donuts don’t actually say this, but again, we appreciate the chance to enjoy any good gimmick. Guess what? It looks suspiciously just like the free red, white and blue Krispy Kreme donut that we got on Election Day last year. Only this time it’s 89 cents, which is still a steal when you figure that Starbucks wants just under $5 for that non-fat caramel no-foam chai latte you need to have.

I have never been a Dunkin Donuts fan mostly because they are an East Coast thing. The one attempt to start a franchise in Sacramento when I was growing up was a dud. But I have been there many times since –in New England, in the Midwest, Michigan, New York—and sorry, but the donuts and the coffee just don’t do it for me. I know thousands disagree with me, like spokeswhore Rachael Ray, who got into it in the media when she had ads while wearing funky and chic “Arab” scarves while she was munching on DD donuts. Would Rachael approve of this promotion? How much are they paying her? I say if you can’t find a DD and can fork over a buck for a special donut (see pic), then head on over to KK and smile. Say you’re proud to be an American because January 20 will probably be a good day to say this.

To locate a Dunkin Donuts, click here. To find a Krispy Kreme, click here.

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