The Washington Times - July 12, 2008, 01:34AM

Whoops! Another surrogate has gone off the rails. This time it’s comedian Bernie Mac, who introduced presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama tonight at a fundraiser in Chicago.

 

SEE RELATED:


Here’s the AP write-up from tonight:

 

Comedian Bernie Mac endured some heckling and a campaign rebuke during a surprise appearance Friday night at a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Toward the end of a 10-minute standup routine at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Chicago, the 50-year-old star of “The Bernie Mac Show” joked about menopause, sexual infidelity and promiscuity, and used occasional crude language.

“My little nephew came to me and he said, ‘Uncle, what’s the difference between a hypothetical question and a realistic question?’” Mac said. “I said, I don’t know, but I said, ‘Go upstairs and ask your mother if she’d make love to the mailman for $50,000.’”

As the joke continued, the punchline evoked an angry response from at least one person in the audience, who said it was offensive to women.

“It’s not funny. Let’s get Barack on,” a man shouted from the crowd, which paid $2,300 each to support the Illinois senator.

About 15 minutes later, Obama tried to smooth things over with a joke of his own.

“We can’t afford to be divided by race. We can’t afford to be divided by region or by class and we can’t afford to be divided by gender, which by the way, that means, Bernie, you’ve got to clean up your act next time,” Obama said. “This is a family affair. By the way, I’m just messing with you, man.”

The incident drew response from Obama’s campaign, which criticized Mac for his choice of material.

“Sen. Obama told Bernie Mac that he doesn’t condone these statements and believes what was said was inappropriate,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement after the event.

Mac, a Chicago native, said he’s a longtime Obama supporter and called the presumptive Democratic nominee a “man’s man” while offering him advice for the duration of the campaign trail.

“People like rumors. They’re going to say things like you know you was in the club with Lil’ Kim, and you and Kanye West got in a fist fight,” he said. “You can’t get upset. You’ve got to keep hope alive.”

 

 

My story on “Surrogates gone wild” examining all the different gaffes of the year — from Bob Johnson to Phil Gramm — hasn’t even been live on our Web site for an hour, but Mac adds to the list.

 

Surrogate alert! Barack Obama’s wife quipped that a $600 tax stimulus check could be used for a pair of earrings.

The same day, a John McCain surrogate dismissed economic woes from a nation of “whiners.”

Those gaffes — and even references to castration and Viagra — illustrated a week of tabloidlike “Oh, no, he didn’t!” coverage that are the latest examples of how the men who want to be president are taking hits for others’ words and people they can’t control.

“Surrogates gone wild” is no laughing matter for Mr. Obama or Mr. McCain, who each have been sidetracked from their preferred agendas and asked to respond to — or apologize for —kerfuffles from mouths other than their own.

 

Read my full story at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/
news/2008/jul/12/600-earrings-a-costly-gaffe/

 

Here is Louise Roug of the LA Times’ pool report from the fundraiser:

 

 

No news so far but a funny Bernie Mac moment.

 After leaving the airport, the motorcade drove to Sen. Barack Obama’s house where he spent about half an hour before going to the gym. (We waited in the car outside.) He worked out for about an hour before going back to the house. Shortly afterward, the motorcade drove to the Hyatt Regency Hotel where he arrived at a backdoor entrance about 7:15 p.m. We waited in an empty ballroom adjoining the room where the reception was held until 8:30 p.m. when we were let into another ballroom through a side door.

Inside, about 600 people milled about, drinks in hand, waiting for the Democratic nominee.

He was introduced by Bernie Mac who began by talking about the movie he did with Chris Rock about a black president, Head of State.

“Barack, you need to look at it so you know what they’re going to do to you,” Mac said. “I don’t know why my man Barack wants to be president but I’m proud of him because politics is dirty especially with Republicans. So Barack, you can’t get mad, you understand, when you hear rumors because people like rumors. They’re going to say things like you know you was in the club with Lil’ Kim, and you and Kanye West got in a fist fight.”

He went on to riff about hope and offering himself up as a running mate “and they don’t want me because I cuss.”

Which he did.

“Being a president is tough cause you’re not just running the county. You got to run your family too,” he said.  “Having a black first lady is different. You’re still going have to do the dishes and the laundry and all that…you got to pick up the kids. You didn’t pick up the kids? I just came from Korea, talking about nuclear weapons. You were on Airforce One and you couldn’t stop to pick up the kids?”

Mac said he is a Democrat “born and raised” but added that “I’m a Republican at tax time.” He mimicked a mock warning from an imagined staffer: “Don’t kill the message.”

He then talked about his wife who he’s been married to for 35 years, and how she just went through menopause.

“I can’t take it,” he said. “My house is so doggone cold all the time.”

He promised to help Obama and that he would be there “like the Jackson Five” and ended his irreverent riff with a joke involving the women in the families and living with two “hoes”

A heckler started protesting, asking for Mac to step down and let Barack come on.

“Calm down,” Mac said, before introducing Obama, “not just a friend of mine but a friend of you all.”

Obama came on, thanking, among others, “my great friend, one of the kings of comedy, Bernie Mac.”

He then gave an abbreviated stump speech with a quick run-down of his platform, briefly touching most policy areas and using his usual language and jokes before poking fun at Mac toward the end of his 20 minute speech.

“Everybody is concerned about whether the Democratic Party will be unified in time,” he said. “We don’t have an option but to make sure that we are united and make sure that we succeed…we can’t afford to be divided by race. We can’t afford to be divided by religion, or by region or class. Or by gender,” he said, pausing for effect. “That means, by the way, Bernie you got to clean up your act. This is a family affair… I’m just messing with you,” he said.

We just got into the second fundraiser of the night, more TK.

 

Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times

 

Bookmark my blog at
http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/bellantoni
and visit my YouTube page at
http://youtube.com/bellantoniwashtimes