Apparently there is some old joke about being asked a loaded question:
Of course I had never heard this used before, not in the context of lawyers or trials or even reporting.
Fine. Fair enough. I sure don’t know every pop-culture catch phrase out there (yes, I’m snickering).
So today when I came across remarks made by Senator John McCain to the Las Vegas Sun, I about fell out of my chair.
(On why he didn’t choose Gov. Jim Gibbons to chair his Nevada campaign?)
I appreciate his support. As you know, the lieutenant governor is our chairman.
(Why snub the governor?)
I didn’t mean to snub him,. I’ve known the lieutenant governor for 15 years and we’ve been good friends….I didn’t intend to snub him. There are other states where the governor is not the chairman.
(Maybe it’s the governor’s approval rating and you are running from him like you are from the president?)
(Chuckling) And I stopped beating my wife just a couple of weeks ago….
Yes, Senator McCain laughed and made a joke about loaded questions and beating his wife, apparently riffing off some well turned phrase.
At best, this is just a poor, poor, poor, cliche’ to pick when you are courting Clinton voters. At worst, he’s perpetuating his image as “old school” and “sexism is funny.”
I informally polled some friends and family of various ages and only one had heard this phrase used before- my neighbor who is in his 70’s. I’m guessing the younger demo, widely voting for Senator Obama, looked at that Las Vegas Sun quote and did the same thing I did…”HE SAID WHAT???!!! AND HE THINKS THAT’S FUNNY???!!!”
I’m doing my best to keep a level head in this election (and now everyone else snickers) so I immediately e-mailed Liz Mair of the RNC. If and when she responds, I will post an update here.
In the meantime, what the hell is McCain thinking making a joke half of us don’t know is a joke???
Wonkette writes, “What does that Joke even mean? That John McCain trying to keep his distance from President Bush/Jim Gibbons is about as likely as him beating up his wife recently? Well for shame. We want a president who continues beating up his trollop wife IN THE WHITE HOUSE.”
Erica Saves the Day writes, “As my mom says, sarcasm always has an element of truth…”
I give McCain credit for making an attempt at humor, I really do. But could he have picked a WORSE joke? And yes, the candidates misspeak. We’ve been over this. McCain didn’t misspeak here though, he intentionally invoked a tasteless joke about beating wives.
I’ve heard a ton of well-known jokes that invoke racism too, should I bust one of those out next time I run for office?
Crossposted at BlogHer.com