It’s South Carolina primary season! The one quadrennial occasion for the rest of the nation to pay attention to a state with 10 percent unemployment and 51st in the nation education ranking (that’s right, it’s so bad, it’s below the actual number of states we have). All this hoopla reminds me of this classic from the Inverted Soapbox clip file, where John McCain came Hilton Head for a quick campaign stop during the slugfest that was the 2008 nominating process. The event was fast and loose, and the broke underdog felt more like 2000 era McCain in his element rather than the tired 2008 model. And then this happened:
(Island Packet, Nov. 16, 2007) The question had a cadence and a sharp alliteration that sliced through the yadda-yadda-yadda about Social Security and health care that dominated Sen. John McCain’s campaign stop on Hilton Head Island on Monday.
With news cameras rolling, Wexford resident Linda Burke, prim in a neck scarf and pulled-back hair, leaned forward out of the crowd and asked plainly and emphatically: “How do we beat the bitch?”
That word, henceforth called the “B-Bomb,” referred to Sen. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner who stirs up vituperative feelings deep in the gut of many Republicans.
It turned into the B-Bomb heard ’round the world.
Burke’s question — and McCain’s reaction — has caught fire with political wonks across the nation, appearing on cable news and turning into the issue du jour for liberal commentators. The blogosphere, that shadowy zone where even the most minuscule thing a candidate says is recorded, dissected, criticized and resent into the digital ether, is having a field day with it. Continue reading