In what Fox News is calling a “game changer,” President Obama’s standing in the polls took a major hit last night in the previously safe, blue New England states, especially Massachusetts, when the President mistakenly interpreted cries of “YOUK, YOUK, YOUK” for boos after the President clumsy attempt at humor in the famed Boston Symphony Hall. The President opened his remarks to a “mostly younger folks” crowd (according to the Boston Globe) by thanking the Boston fans for trading, the day before, former All-Star and beloved Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis to the President’s own favorite team, the struggling, indeed hapless Chicago White Sox. When the “mostly younger” crowd erupted in the all-too-familiar “YOUK” chant (familiar, that is, to all Red Sox Nation fans), the President reacted as if these were boos addressed to his Youkilis comment, apologizing for “hitting a sensitive nerve.” ”Youkilis is really only changing the color of his sox now,” the President lamely observed.
Fox News talking head Sean Hannitty was quick to seize the President’s misstep, comparing it to other historic game changing political campaign mistakes, including Ed Muskie’s famous crying episode, Mike Dukakis wearing a helmet in an Army tank, and even to President Nixon’s defense of the Watergate break-in (“nothing but a third rate burglary.”) Other Fox News analysts seized on the Symphony Hall misstep as “YOUK-gate,” predicting that voters will see it as further proof of what Fox News has been reporting for months: the President is really not an American at all, but rather Kenyan, or something “other.” Fox News talking head Megan Kelly noted that any true American would know the difference between ”YOUK” and “boo,” especially any American who spent three years in Cambridge allegedly attending the elitist Harvard Law School. Kelly repeated the Fox claim that since the President has refused to release his law school academic records, his claim that he was president of the Harvard Law Review remains highly suspect.
Other in attendance at the sold-out Symphony Hall event were equally mystified. Michael Victor, age 64 and from Newton, and one of the few not younger folks in the crowd, was shocked, since even he knows the difference between “YOUK” and “boo,” in spite of the fact he grew up in Philadelphia and was raised a Phillies fan. “Even my four year old grandson knows the difference, and he lives in Connecticut, for Pete’s sake,” said Victor. John Tener, age 73 and also from Newton (and also not a younger folk) asked a question that Fox News also raised: ”If the President does not recognize the difference between “YOUK” and “boo”, could it be that some of the President’s other alleged accomplishments are phony as well? Since we know President Bush faked the cause of the Iraq War, and faked his “Mission Accomplishment” event on that aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego, could President Obama have faked hitting that one and only three point shot in Kuwait back in 2008, just like Senator Scott Brown faked hitting a mid-court shot on his first try? And, how do we really know Osama Bin Laden is actually dead? Senator Brown claims he saw a photograph of a dead Bin Laden, but how can we believe Senator Brown about anything?” asked Tener.
The President’s game-changing blunder largely overshadowed the President’s other, effective attempts at humor, including his noting how the Romney campaign sought to explain a recent New York Times report that Bain Capital, Romneys’ vulture capital firm in Boston, was a “pioneer” in outsourcing American jobs overseas. A Romney spokesperson earlier drew a distinction between “outsourcing” and “offshoring” the President noted, stating that he was not “making this up.” The President asserted that as President, he does not make such distinctions, and instead works solely to keep American jobs in America. Rob Barber, of indeterminate age and from Cambridge, noted after the President’s speech that perhaps Romney’s distinction between “outsourcing” and “offshoring” arises from Romney’s own practice of outsourcing jobs overseas in the companies he bought, whileoffshoring to Cayman Islands secret, tax haven bank accounts the millions in profits he personally made in the leveraged buy-out deals.
The President’s apparent ignorance of the recent deification of Kevin Youkilis among Red Sox Nation fans also overshadowed a rousing introduction of the President by Democratic Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren. Warren, wearing her trademark bright red jacket, brought the crowd to its feet with a withering challenge to Mitt Romney’s oft-repeated belief that “corporations are people.” Warren hammered home what to all but the most extreme conservative minds is a self-evident proposition: ”Corporations don’t have kids; corporations do not serve in the military; corporations do not marry; corporations do not get sick and need hospital care; corporations do not laugh or cry; corporations do not die.”
From John Tener via email – thanks John!