Cuban: I'm with Hillary

It’s a couple of days old, but worth noting since billionaire Mark Cuban never got the running-mate love from either ticket. The Dallas Mavericks owner spent time playing footsie with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, at least publicly, but he spent far more time hammering Donald Trump than praising him. Unless Hillary picked Elizabeth Warren for VP, or Trump actually picked Cuban as his running mate, the billionaire sports-franchise owner was always going to be with her.


So yeah, surprise, surprise that Cuban officially endorsed Hillary — and that he managed to level the field on maturity at the same time:

Billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban endorsed Hillary Clinton on Saturday in his hometown of Pittsburgh, and he took a little time to pillory Donald Trump in the process.

“Leadership is not yelling and screaming and intimidating,” Cuban told the crowd. “You know what we call a person like that in Pittsburgh? A jagoff.”

The University of Pittsburgh, which studies local dialect, defines a “jagoff” as “a person who is irritating because of being inept or stupid.”

“Is there any bigger jagoff in the world than Donald Trump?” he said as the crowd roared.

Jagoff is classic Yinzer, Salena Zito explains:

“Jagoff” is part of the Scots Irish dialect that has been here since the 17th century that initially meant to “jag” or poke at someone who is doing something annoying (i.e. “stop jagging me” a phrase still used today). It evolved from a verb into the noun, “jagoff,” which essentially means “jerk” (i.e. “did you see the way she cut her off in traffic? What a jagoff!”).

Cuban is not the first person to use the word in this presidential election year. Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, the imposing 6 ft 4, 200-plus pound Democratic primary candidate for U.S. Senate, called Trump a jagoff last spring when he was seeking his party’s nomination for the Senate.

He held a rally centered around it, his volunteers wore “Trump is a jag off” T-shirts, and even held a press conference.

Is it fair to call Trump a jagoff? Absolutely. In fact, he might even admit that it is part of his strength and appeal to the very important voters that live in the areas where the word is used.


The word must get around. I recall hearing it in my high school years in Southern California, but by that time many Pittsburghers had begun to migrate to other areas of the country for economic reasons. (It’s one of the reasons the Steelers have such a large national fan base.) The lack of understanding of the term from the national media this weekend seemed a bit mystifying.

It also seemed a bit hypocritical, at least coming from the Hillary campaign. They had slapped back at Mike Pence’s declaration that “I don’t think name-calling has any place in public life,” as he told Hugh Hewitt on Friday, given that his running mate is notorious for assigning derogatory nicknames to his rivals. He calls Clinton “Crooked Hillary,” for instance, and was tweeting about “Little Michael Bloomberg” at about the same time Pence was making the point for maturity. Funny — there doesn’t seem to be any scolding of Cuban coming from Team Hillary today.

Cuban’s endorsement won’t mean much, not unless he’s backing it up with big bucks — which may be the case. Cuban has a pop-culture following, not a political following, so he’s not likely to sway legions of voters simply by offering a speech here and there. It certainly doesn’t hurt Hillary to have Cuban’s endorsement, but it’s almost certainly not going to move the needle in polling. And who knows — voters might decide that there’s more than one jagoff in this cycle.


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Jazz Shaw 5:21 PM on September 27, 2023