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The governor is still telling “that joke”

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Remember the joke Gov. Blagojevich told over and over about the little black girl who mistook him for Mayor Daley? Well, he’s still telling it.

“As we were heading away from downtown and heading toward the airport to come here [ed. note: here suggests Champaign-Urbana], we stopped at a red light (inaudible) I rolled the window down and there’s a young girl, an African-American girl, maybe about 13 or 14 years old. I looked at her, she looked at me. She said ‘Oh my God, it’s Mayor Daley.’

(Laughs)

“So, it’s nice to know that I’m known here.”

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, if a Republican told a joke like that he or she would be crucified in the media. It’s just maddening that he thinks it’s somehow funny or even relevant to always include the race of the ficticious girl in his repeated retelling of this story.

UPDATE: And, just to be clear, this is not a story told about a long-ago incident. The governor always tells this story like it just happened on his way to speak that day to whomever it is he happens to be addressing. If he said “One time, years ago…” that would be different. Instead, he talks about the little black girl mistaking him for Daley as one of those “A funny thing happened on my way to the speech” icebreakers.

There is no need to continue mentioning the race of the little girl because THE GIRL DOES NOT EXIST. Or, if she does exist, it happened once, long ago - but certainly not every time the governor drives to an event with the window down.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


14 Comments
  1. - paddyrollingstone - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 9:46 am:

    Rich - Is the story at all true? If it happened, and the girl was African-American, why is it such bad taste to say so?


  2. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 9:53 am:

    It may have been true once, but he changes the story to fit the audience. Read the links.


  3. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 10:27 am:

    He needs to update his story this way…

    “As we were heading away from downtown and heading toward the airport to come here, we stopped at a red light. I rolled the window down and there’s a young girl, an African-American girl, maybe about 13 or 14 years old. I looked at her, she looked at me. She said ‘Oh my God, it’s Public Official A.’


  4. - zatoichi - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 10:50 am:

    Material like this made him a hit on our show. He is a sensitive, natural comedian and entertainer. (eyes go wide look at ceiling then to floor, papers rustle, smirk)

    Sincerely
    Jon Stewart


  5. - annoyed all the time - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 10:58 am:

    get over it - move on - you will be ok really, we all will -


  6. - Paul Simon Museum Guy - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 11:08 am:

    I know it can’t be true… an open window would threaten the hairdo.


  7. - Macbeth - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 11:17 am:

    I think the idea that he says ‘African American’ twice in one of the tellings makes it fairly obvious that this is a memory flag. He’s been told — by someone, or maybe by himself — to reinforce this, the ethnicity part of the tale.

    Obviously, the tale is about ethnicity and race and not about the mistaken identity. This leads me to believe that it’s some short circuit — or maybe cultural misreading — in Blago’s brain that says that his audience needs an “ethnic and racial anchor.” For Blago, this tale is that anchor. Which leads me to further suspect that (a) his coaching hasn’t yet “taken” (like a magician who deliberately moves through the routine, pausing to think about the next move), (b) he thinks his audience lacks savvy, or (c) he’s an earnest idiot and can’t remember that he’s told the story a million times and struggles to remind himself of the structure every times he decides to tell it.

    Someone oughta remind Blago that we’re really not as dumb as he thinks we are. We’re onto him. He’s a twerp. We know this. We know some things about Topinka, too.


  8. - Vinron - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 11:30 am:

    Vanilla Man is on a roll.


  9. - heet101 - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 11:49 am:

    Rich is right to be upset on this one. Mentioning race in this “ice breaker” is so pointless. But more than that, why would you ever tell a story like that more than one time? Doesn’t he have people that write his speeches? I guess for intros they just stick with cut and paste.


  10. - Merlin - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 12:15 pm:

    Perhaps the reason he keeps telling the same story is because he only has the capacity to remember one story. Removing the ethnicity of the girl would throw everything off and just confuse him.


  11. - Chuck - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 12:34 pm:

    Rich, get over it.

    The ethnicity is intended to paint a picture in the listeners’ mind.

    It’s not a big deal.


  12. - ron - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 1:12 pm:

    one would wonder if blago went out of his way to tell this story to meeks when they met last week. i wonder what some of those commented above would have said if alan keys had related the same story. democrats. they get a pass on race pandering be it black or white politicians.


  13. - DOWNSTATE - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 1:17 pm:

    He keeps telling a bad joke?You have it wrong.He keeps being a bad joke.


  14. - Veritas - Tuesday, May 23, 06 @ 8:33 pm:

    It says a lot about Blago’s view of down-state that he truly believes Daley is a relevant figure in Urbana.


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