Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mary Mitchell's Crybaby Award from last month

I posted this on September 18, 2006 over at the old It's My Mind in Beta. Thanks to Blogger in Beta I can make it a private blog. Who knows it might be back but for now there's just no need for it. Anyway, this was just too great of a post to not ever see the light of day so I present this to you. Unfortunately there is no link to the original Chicago Sun-Times column.

Yesterday I missed Mary Mitchell's column. She starts off talking about a young coach who lost his job because he awarded a crybaby trophy to a 13 year old boy who wanted so badly to play in a game. On this day she offers a trophy to two Chicago politicians who have proven to be crybabies and especially because they're not really trying to apologize for their actions. Check it out...

The inaugural winners of the Mary Mitchell Crybaby Award are: Ald. Todd Stroger (8th) and Gov. Blagojevich.

Both of these politicians are whining their way through political campaigns that so far have glossed over the tough issues facing the county and state.

And both of these candidates are exploiting sensitive issues to justify their crying.

Last week, the same black ministers who threatened a boycott during the March primary, in response to an opinion column deemed insensitive to ailing retired Cook County Board President John Stroger, held a news conference to blast as "insulting" and "racist" comparisons made on a Web site of Todd Stroger to "Steve Urkel."
She's talking about the Stroger campaign in that last paragraph. Let's see more...

Bishop Larry Trotter and the Rev. Al Sampson blame Todd Stroger's political foe, Tony Peraica, for the site.

"To equate the Democratic candidate for president to Urkel is just insulting," Trotter said.

Sampson went further, accusing Peraica, who is white, of playing the so-called "race card."

At, Todd Stroger's head is superimposed on the body of a diaper-wearing toddler, and the site compares him to "Steve Urkel," the fictional nerdy breakout character from the TV show "Family Matters."

A Peraica spokesman denied the campaign has anything to do with the site, calling it "unnecessarily juvenile."

But really, what's wrong with Urkel?

Comparing Todd Stroger to Urkel isn't necessarily an insult.

After all, Urkel may have been socially awkward, but he was endearing. He may have been clumsy, but he was also a brainiac -- something the county board desperately needs.

But more important, Urkel's character was a surprise hit. Although he was supposed to have been a minor player, before long, "Family Matters" essentially became the "Steve Urkel Show."

Todd Stroger had better hope he does as well.
I'll be honest when I say that Mr. Todd Stroger is in over his head. I've always said this. Not only that but I think the only people who care for him are his handlers because no one else seems to. Listening to some people talk it seems he just doesn't have that forceful personality. In fact some would say that he's personally dull. Have you heard Ald. Stroger say anything in defense of himself? So far the only ones doing the talking are his handlers.

Now what about Gov. Blagojevich? Why does he get to co-hold this award...

As for Blagojevich, for a man who danced into office singing an Elvis Presley hit, he's acting like a wimp in his campaign against Judy Baar Topinka.

Last week, in response to what he took as a "joke," he trotted out the real victims of gun violence in an attempt to exploit his opponent's style of shooting from the lip.

Known for her folksy, and often wacky off-the-cuff remarks, Topinka apparently left Blagojevich speechless when she defended her stance on an assault weapons ban by saying the definition is so vague that a "rolling pin could be considered an assault weapon."

"I'm the sword of justice and I'm going to cut him [Blagojevich] to pieces," Topinka reportedly said. "We will take him out with my little rolling pin known as the assault weapon. I will prove to him, indeed, it is an assault weapon."

Instead of a witty come-back, the Blagojevich campaign rounded up Deanna Woods, the aunt of the 10-year-old South Sider, Siretha White, who was killed by stray bullets last March while attending a birthday party at the aunt's house.

"I don't think that's government material, at all," a sobbing, still grief-stricken Woods told reporters at a news conference held by the Blagojevich re-election campaign.

Another victim of gun violence, Stephen Young, whose 19-year-old son was killed by gang members in 1996, and Jennifer Bishop of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, were also brought in to condemn Topinka.

"I know it's a joke. It's just over the top. It's inappropriate. It's unprofessional," said Bishop, who called on Topinka to apologize.

But what Topinka said wasn't a joke, at least it wasn't a joke about the serious nature of gun violence.

It was a rip on Blagojevich.

He should have taken it like a man and saved these heavy hitters for a serious discussion about gun violence and the assault weapons ban.
I've been reading about that in the bloggosphere for a while. I didn't know whether to think this was a joke (to say that he used this poor woman as a campaign tactic and actually coached her to do what she did) or to say this was foreal and she really did feel offended by Topinka's remarks. Either way Mitchell and others in the bloggosphere following the gubernatorial campaign saw this for what it was, an unclassy campaign stunt.

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