Candidates behaving badly

January 22, 2008 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

Which of the 2008 candidates for president made the most outrageous statement lately?

In one corner, we have former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who spoke rather insensitively to a Jacksonville, Florida, audience. Romney “posed with a group of young African-Americans and, in an apparent reference to a 2000 hit song, jokingly said, ‘Who let the dogs out?'” the New York Times reported. (The stuffy NYT did not credit the artistry of the Baha Men, which was later used by one of the Gray Lady’s hometown teams, the Mets, during their Y2K World Series run.) “Later, shaking hands in the crowd, he said, ‘Oh, you’ve got some bling-bling here.'” This on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, of all occasions.

In another corner, we have two dueling Democrats, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards, both of whom spoke condescendingly toward their rival, Sen. Barack Obama. This, too, happened on MLK Day, beginning with Sen. Clinton’s description of Obama as “an extraordinary, young African-American man with so much to contribute.” The Times continued:

“[Disapproving] murmurs spread through the crowd at Mrs. Clinton’s reference to her rival as ‘young.’ It was one of many reflections of the simmering tensions between the two candidates. Mr. Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, also referred to Mr. Obama, 46, as a ‘talented young man.'”

What is it about race that prompts so many politicians to speak so thoughtlessly? Is it the result of candidates addressing a subject about which they may know very little? All of the experience that Romney, Clinton and Edwards command seems pretty pathetic when they show how inept they are on race-related topics.

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Entry filed under: Barack Obama, Elections, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, news, Politics, President 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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