Oh, brother… UPDATED: He’s a father of 2 girls…

I’m happy for the Edwards endorsement,* but share the distress of those concerned about sweetie:

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Our candidate is the smoothest orator in the recent history of American politics. Hillary Clinton is usually the one who misspeaks. We’re giving bloggers and newspapers too much ammunition. Especially when this is the second time he’s called a woman sweetie on the campaign trail.

Striking sweetie from our candidate’s vocabulary is an admittedly modest measure, but this is linguistic change we can believe in.

Via Ann Bartow.

*Chris Crain at first saw a gender slight in that endorsement but returns in an update to conclude that he saw, instead, “a subtle hint to Hillaryland and her supporters that his heart isn’t in it.” 

UPDATE: Obama apologized in a voicemail for the reporter:

That’s a bad habit of mine. I do it sometimes with all kinds of people. I mean no disrespect and so I am duly chastened on that front. Feel free to call me back.

The emailer who forwarded the statement is generously forgiving, “for someone who is the father of two girls, it’s probably a word as natural as ‘Hello.’”

8 Comments

  1. Wow that was condescending, and boy does that reporter sound pissed. I think that's one vote he lost.

  2. Actually she was more upset at not getting her question answered than being called “sweetie”. She said she appreciated Senator Obama's quick apology for not answering her question and calling her “sweetie”. I didn't make that up. That's her exact words via the link below:

    Peggy Agar Talks About Obama Apology

    I watch Peggy Agar all the time here in the Detroit area. She's a good reporter.

  3. ooh, ooh, sweetie-gate! Clearly any man who acts in such a manner will destroy America.

  4. When did “sweetie” make it on to the banned list? I had no idea I was such a horrible person. I say that all the time.

  5. I am a hypocrite::

    1) I HATE being called 'honey' by salesclerks or others hwo don't actually love me.

    2) I'm so used to saying 'sweeite' when I'm around my grandchildren, that I've slipped up on at least 2 occasions and used the term speaking to people who don't deserve it.and were startled to hear it. Yet, I forgave myself.

  6. Hi Joe – thanks for posting this. I just posted something about it here on TMV and linked back to this post by you.

  7. His real sin there is a lack of professionalism. “Sweetie” is just not appropriate in that context unless he has a social relationship with the reporter. Period.

  8. “His real sin there is a lack of professionalism. “Sweetie” is just not appropriate in that context unless he has a social relationship with the reporter. Period.”

    A sillier reason for pontifecation has yet to be invented.
    But I'm sure it will be.

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