I like making fun of politicians as much as – if not more so than – anyone here. And as far as I’m concerned, their names are fair game, particularly when they either rhyme with something nicely, (the “Dean scream”) or they have a useful homophone. Added to that, I will generally give a bit of grudging admiration to politicians who have the ability to engage in some good natured, self-effacing humor. We saw both of those on display this week when presidential candidate Herman Cain informed a gaggle of reporters that the best plan moving forward would be to, “beat Obama with a Cain.” Unfortunately, somebody didn’t seem to get the joke.
Herman Cain made his second questionable joke in as many days Thursday, telling a supporter in Michigan who asked the Republican frontrunner how he would beat Obama, “You beat him with a Cain.”
Cain was then asked by a reporter why he used the pun, which could be considered racially offensive. The Republican fruntrunner brushed off the criticism.
“Cain. Herman Cain. C-A-I-N. Do I have to connect all the dots for you?” Cain said according to the Boston Globe.
“Could be considered racially offensive?”
Let’s just stop the replay right there. I’m not entirely naive when it comes to the realities of politics and political correctness, OK? If someone else – let’s say Rick Perry or Haley Barbour… some obviously white man with a southern accent – had ripped off that line, there would be an alarm going off. Someone like that had better follow it up immediately – and I mean before a reporter could even raise a hand to ask a question – with a shouted addition of, “And I’m spelling that Capital C. A. I. N.” Failing to do so would raise questions of having a political tin ear at a minimum, and probably worse. (“You know… he did have that rock outside his hunting camp…”)
But the speaker in question has two things going for him which the reporter should have already noted, unless:
1. It was their first day on the job.. or in America
2. They are blind.
You can make a “cane” joke when you’re name is Cain. And you can quip about “caning or Caining” a black president if you happen to be a black candidate without people implying that you’re trying to bring back slave days on the plantation.
Ladies and gentlemen… your Double Face Palm Award of the Week winner.