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The reviews are in… and they’re lousy

Friday, Oct 28, 2016

* From a Tammy Duckworth campaign press release entitled “What People Are Saying About Mark Kirk’s Attack on Duckworth’s Military Heritage”…

NBC News Headline: Illinois Senator Draws Fire for Racially-Charged Attack on Opponent’s Family

Washington Post Headline: Sen. Mark Kirk questions opponent’s American heritage in Illinois debate

CNN Headline: Kirk questions military history of Duckworth’s family

Associated Press Headline: The Latest: Kirk derides Duckworth’s military heritage

Capitol Fax Headline: Kirk’s debate comment called “racist” and “despicable”

Politico Headline: Dems demand apology for Kirk comments on Duckworth’s heritage

Chicago Tribune Headline: More aggressive Kirk goes after Duckworth in second debate, questions her family’s heritage

Chicago Sun-Times Headline: Kirk hits Duckworth on honesty — and family military service

Mother Jones Headline: Sen. Mark Kirk Questions Military Service of Opponent’s Family

NBC Chicago Headline: Mark Kirk Questions Tammy Duckworth’s Family’s Military Service, Heritage In Senate Debate

The Guardian Headline: Republican Mike Kirk singles out Asian heritage of Iraq veteran rival Tammy Duckworth

Huffington Post Headline: Mark Kirk Tries To Joke About Opponent Tammy Duckworth’s Ancestry

Business Insider Headline: An Illinois GOP senator sniped at his Democratic opponent’s heritage during a debate

Belleville News Democrat Headline: Mark Kirk questions war vet and Senate opponent on her family’s military service

Mediaite Headline: GOP Sen. Engages in Shocking, False Attack on Opponent’s Ancestry in Debate

The Daily Beast Headline: Mark Kirk Makes Racist Dig at Tammy Duckworth During Illinois Senate Debate

Slate Headline: Illinois Senator Tries to Zing Tammy Duckworth in Debate, Looks Like a Racist Jerk Instead

Deadspin Headline: Senator Mark Kirk Mocks Tammy Duckworth’s Mixed-Race Background During Debate

Mic Headline: Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk accused of racism after tone-deaf jab at opponent’s Thai heritage

CBS News Headline: GOP Ill. Sen. questions opponent’s American heritage

Whew.

* More from the release, but this time without the hyperlinks because I want to move on to other stuff…

Meanwhile, on Twitter…

Kellyanne Conway @KellyannePolls: The same Mark Kirk that unendorsed his party’s presidential nominee and called him out in paid ads? Gotcha. Good luck.

Deadspin @Deadspin: Senator Mark Kirk mocks disabled Iraq war vet Tammy Duckworth in debate for her mixed-race heritage: deadsp.in/Pz454FH”

Jake Tapper @jaketapper: Kirk was already almost certainly going to lose. This is the opposite of a graceful exit.

Soledad O’Brien @soledadobrien: Sigh. For shame Mr. Kirk.

Steve Kornacki @SteveKornacki: His attack on Duckworth tonight is not the first bizarre/offensive thing Kirk has blurted out in the past few years chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/z…

Taegan Goddard @politicalwire: Wow, Sen. Mark Kirk really flubbed his debate tonight with Tammy Duckworth politicalwire.com/2016/10/27/dum…

Matt Viser @mviser: The definition of a bad debate moment youtu.be/icc0NXOdJQg

Mike DeBonis ‏@mikedebonis: Here’s video of that Duckworth/Kirk exchange. It’s as bad as it sounds.

Manu Raju @mkraju: Mark Kirk always had an uphill climb for reelection but his comment about Duckworth’s ethnic heritage probably sealed his fate. #ilsen

Larry Handlin @archpundit: That was awkward and inappropriate.

Kim Janssen @kimjnews: The strange things people believe rarely surprise me but holy mackerel why would Mark Kirk say that out loud?

Chris Cillizza @TheFix: This really is stunning “@washingtonpost Sen. Mark Kirk questions opponent’s American heritage in Illinois debate wapo.st/2e2D3dO”

Rich Miller @capitolfax: That remark by @markkirkhq about @TammyforIL’s ancestry is about the lowest thing I’ve seen in a debate

Shane Goldmacher @ShaneGoldmacher: This Kirk-Duckworth exchange is going viral in 3…2…1… m.youtube.com/watch?v=icc0NX…

Daniel Nichanian @Taniel: Senator Mark Kirk may have said the most racist thing in a year headlined by Donald Trump. via @BFriedmanDC: pic.twitter.com/gHOkJwMosO

Harry Enten @ForecasterEnten: You can see why the Chicago Tribune endorsed Duckworth…

Eric Garcia @EricMGarcia: What. The. Hell? “@BFriedmanDC Wow. In debate, @MarkKirk says to Tammy Duckworth: “I had forgotten your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.””

Eric Bradner @ericbradner: Just seeing this and WOW is it racist. If #ILSen wasn’t in the bag for Democrats by now… “@mikedebonis Here’s video of that Duckworth/Kirk exchange. It’s as bad as it sounds. youtu.be/icc0NXOdJQg”

David Catanese @davecatanese: This clip is unreal. Wtf was he thinking.

Matthew Yglesias @mattyglesias: See, she was born in Thailand so it’s not possible her dad’s a Marine from a longstanding military family.

Greg Pollowitz @GPollowitz: The thing is Sen. Kirk has held himself out as morally superior to Trump for months, and then he says this? Goodbye Sen. majority

Andrew Kaczynski ‏@KFILE: Oof, the Kirk comment did fall as flat as people said.

Kellyanne Conway, by the way, is Donald Trump’s campaign manager. No lifeline there.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

58 Comments
  1. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:35 am:

    ===Kellyanne Conway, by the way, is Donald Trump’s campaign manager. No lifeline there.===

    I think it would be a wonderful time to ask the esteemed nominee what he thinks of veterans who were disabled fighting for their country since he doesn’t like veterans who were captured fighting for their country.


  2. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:36 am:

    So does he bother to offer an actual apology today?


  3. - illini97 - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:36 am:

    Rich, I assume you were in the room. what was the (I assume small) crowd’s gut response to that? Gasps?


  4. - Coach - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    I saw the exchange on Morning Joe today. As Joe and everyone on the show stated that race is over and Kirk is the loser!


  5. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:39 am:

    I was voting for Kirk until this.

    Can Illinois republicans not find a moderate who is moderate in tone as well?


  6. - a drop in - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:40 am:

    And still no apology or explanation from him.


  7. - illinois manufacturer - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    I dont see how downballot escapes the implosions at the top but we shall see.


  8. - Anon221 - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:41 am:

    From Politico this morning-

    BEING THERE — Kirk exited Sangamon Auditorium fairly quickly, without taking press questions. But dozens of people lined up single file to take a picture and shake hands with Duckworth.

    *****
    ‘Nuff said.


  9. - Not quite a majority - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    How NOT to earn ‘free press’ 101.


  10. - Amalia - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    this U.S. Senator is toast


  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    The remark isn’t just bad form, arguably for me, it’s one of the most tasteless personal attacks I can remember in a debate.

    Given that place in my own memory, the reactions to this are not only warranted, but to expect anything less would be a disappointment.

    The underpinning of the falsehood is the ethnicity of the parent Duckworth wasn’t referencing. The covertly overt fact check was based on allowing race and racism to be a fact. The words aren’t simplistically put in that order, if anything, the structure of that response gives very little room to the flippant or the glib. It was a tactical structured response allowing an oozing of what is the worst in this country, and what this campaign season seems to want a referendum on with Trump.

    There is little or no room to walk it back. Elephants through the eyes of needles comes to mind for a walkback.

    I still can’t believe Kirk said it.


  12. - Deft Wing - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    The Trib Editorial Board may well have been proven right. Sen. Kirk likely has continuing negative effects from his massive stroke and is just not healthy enough to perform all aspects of the job. And that’s too bad.


  13. - DuPage - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    He certainly got everybody’s attention, but not in a good way.


  14. - Fairness and Fairness Only - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:48 am:

    I agree that his race is over. I disagree that this is surprising. People who refer to single men as “bros with no hoes” don’t have to reach far to get to their next ignorant, bigoted insult.

    The best part about this is that the fault lies on Mr. Kirk. There is no reason to blame the campaign, the other candidates, the media or the election process. Words matter.


  15. - CharlieKratos - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    Kirk needs to take a Dale Carnegie course… and also retire.


  16. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    No use piling on here. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.


  17. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:53 am:

    None of this surprises me. The only effective filter for Kirk has been to keep him from speaking. That seems to have been the strategy throughout the campaign. I suspect the approach last night was to create enough of an issue by bringing the whistleblowers in that we’d be talking about it today. In fact the campaign made one of the weakest attempts in memory to pivot to this issue after the debate. Clearly this was the worst possible outcome for Kirk but I have to say that it was fairly predictable given the other comments we’ve heard from him recently.


  18. - Annonin' - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    Hey we know folks who have had strokes. Don’t blame CommandoMakeItUp’s extremely stupid and tasteless remark to a medical issue. He said plenty dumb stuff before that.


  19. - LizPhairTax - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:57 am:

    Maybe he’s placed a large wager on the under and he’s actually a genius?

    So Mark, let’s say it goes Black neighborhood, Thai neighborhood, Hispanic neighborhood; through which do you drive the fastest?


  20. - titan - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:57 am:

    Ouch. This looks a lot like a “Dukakis Wearing the Helmet in the Tank” moment.


  21. - In 630 - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:58 am:

    Not just what he said- but the dead silence right after sticks with me. That was really his only response to what she had said. The context just made it even more baffling and awful.


  22. - Politix - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 9:59 am:

    It has been sad to watch Mark go out this way. But when you’re up against a person who LOST HER LEGS AT WAR and you still can’t stop yourself from question her family’s sacrifice, you need to take a look in the mirror.


  23. - Lomez - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    Phew, I was worried for a bit that the Important Conversation might not continue full bore into today. Great work, Rich. Them click$.

    I know when Sen. Duckworth is doing her thing with HRC for the next 4-6 years, we can all at least take solace that we focused on the Key Issues in placing her there.


  24. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:01 am:

    I understand the desire for a public apology from Kirk but, even if one is issued, it likely won’t be written by him nor will it be sincere. So what’s the point?


  25. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    ===but the dead silence right after sticks with me===

    What kinda sticks with me is that the moderator and the debate panelists never brought it up after he said it. What the heck were they thinking?


  26. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    And yet, there are millions of people who will vote Republican no matter what, solely because of that Party’s anti-abortion stance.


  27. - Colossus - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    FWIW, Streator, I know one single issue abortion voter who is not voting Republican this year because the rest has finally outweighed her single issue.


  28. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    ===And yet, there are millions of people who will vote Republican no matter what, solely because of that Party’s anti-abortion stance.===

    LOL! There also are millions of people who will vote for HRC no matter what, solely because of her Party’s belief that killing an unborn child is A-OK.


  29. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:12 am:

    There are millions who will base their vote on a single issue, and millions who will not.


  30. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    Does Duckworth deny her parents didn’t come from Thailand to fight for George Washington?

    Kirk should appear at the next debate with the children of parents who did come from Thailand to fight for George Washington. That will really shake her up.


  31. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    Hmmmm. One positive for Kirk post-debate tweet seems to be missing today. Why did Adam Kinzinger delete it?


  32. - Casual observer - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    I encouraged my wife to watch the debate because she hadn’t yet made up her mind. After that comment she said “That’s enough, you can turn it off”.

    Enough said.


  33. - Captain Illini - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    On the good side, Mark Kirk is preparing for his next career as a spokesman for Pepperidge Farms as a toast salesman. /S!


  34. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    “So does he bother to offer an actual apology today?”

    Heck, does he bother to make another public appearance before Election Day?

    – MrJM


  35. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:35 am:

    The bright side for all those staffers who stuck with Kirk is that Rauner will take care of them.


  36. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    ===Heck, does he bother to make another public appearance===

    There’s another scheduled debate in Chicago.


  37. - Albany Park Patriot - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    It’s sad that it’s come to this. People complain about “political correctness,” but all that means to me is common decency. Mark Kirk does not seem like a decent person. There is a long line of comments like this from him. To say it’s “just politics” would be a sad commentary.


  38. - jerry 101 - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    This comment caused me to remember all the other weird, crazy things he’s said since the Stroke. I don’t remember him saying stuff like that before the stroke.
    Which makes me think that the Trib’s vile anti-endorsement of Kirk, vile as it was, was spot on. (I’ve never been a Kirk fan, but I still found the endorsement to be vile).

    Ever since the stroke, he seems to lack the judgment he once had, and poor judgment is a very good reason not to be a sitting senator.

    Then again, had the Trib been explicit in saying that they think that the stroke has affected his judgment and that’s why they’re not endorsing him, then perhaps the anti-endorsement wouldn’t have been so vile, so that just goes to show you that Kirk isn’t the only one with poor judgment.


  39. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    ===I know when Sen. Duckworth is doing her thing with HRC for the next 4-6 years, we can all at least take solace that we focused on the Key Issues in placing her there. ===

    Like having a Supreme Court with 9 sitting members?


  40. - Nick - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:43 am:

    ===There are millions who will base their vote on a single issue, and millions who will not.===

    If the single issue you are referring to is human decency/respect for others, then I think you are right.


  41. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:43 am:

    “There’s another scheduled debate in Chicago.”

    “Oh, um… he’s got a lower-body injury and… uhh… it’ll be a game-time decision whether Mark’s in or not. Thank you. No further questions!”

    – MrJM


  42. - Scott Cross for President - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:56 am:

    Kirk needs to apologize today so he can (try to) get back on message. The first question at their next debate will be to Kirk to explain this offensive statement (since as Rich pointed out, none of the moderator’s last night followed up), and Kirk needs to be able to say succinctly and briefly, “I have apologized for my poor choice of words and I apologize to Tammy again here.” And then move away and onward ASAP. Problem is, if the moderator follows up or if Duckworth responds to Kirk, then will Kirk stick with the script and not address his comment further or will he try to explain/discuss/clarify or otherwise walk right back into the swamp.


  43. - Scott Cross for President - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    So this leaves Leslie Munger as the top of the Illinois GOP ticket to be the draw ? Good luck with that.


  44. - DS - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 10:59 am:

    I am a Democrat who liked and voted for Kirk. But if he had said this before I went to the polls, I would have voted for Duckworth. I wish I could have my vote back now. Deplorable.


  45. - ArchPundit - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    —I still can’t believe Kirk said it.

    There were things Keyes said that were in line with this as I recall, but it was Keyes. Kirk had a different brand. Had.


  46. - walker - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    Kirk is pleasant when things are going his way. Nasty and sarcastic when they’re not. Same personality for years now.


  47. - Anon III - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    - DS - @ 10:59 am:
    === I wish I could have my vote back now. ===

    I like to vote early, but I am waiting this year. Both nationally and locally, a lot of “shoes are dropping.” News-cycles are shorter.


  48. - Casual observer - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:40 am:

    His apology today seems almost, kinda, sorta sincere. Too little too late though. He’s being skewered by the media.


  49. - DS - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    - Anon III - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    Unfortunately I had to vote early since I work on election day.


  50. - Mr. Smith - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:08 pm:

    Anyone want to place odds on:

    1) Duckworth accepting the apology
    2) The Duckworth campaign withdrawing from the the final debate based on this
    3) The Kirk campaign withdrawing from the final debate


  51. - Timmeh - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:09 pm:

    ==What kinda sticks with me is that the moderator and the debate panelists never brought it up after he said it. What the heck were they thinking? ==

    “Please let this election season be over.”


  52. - Strobby - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:10 pm:

    Stick a fork in him, he’s done


  53. - Liandro - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    “I still can’t believe Kirk said it.”

    Yep. I was genuinely shocked.


  54. - Angry Republican - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    The only thing keeping Duckworth’s margin of victory under 30 points is her campaign manager. For some inexplicable reason 538 still shows Kirk with a 7% chance of winning; I think that is 6.9 points too high.


  55. - conusone - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 12:45 pm:

    Comments here interesting, and a bit ‘telling’(also for Kirk). Then add to this bru ha- Conway’s (Trump Campaign ‘manager’), and the newest from this week, Giuliani and Gingrich going ‘over the rail’, too … ALL the signs, and noise, of insects chewing on each other, and everyone in sight, as ‘food for their collective mandibles’ gets scarcer and scarcer.
    The opposite of a ‘food fight’, as it were.


  56. - ArchPundit - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    “That was awkward and inappropriate.”

    I still like my initial take above. Rich censored the Go Cubs part of the handle ;)

    ==What kinda sticks with me is that the moderator and the debate panelists never brought it up after he said it. What the heck were they thinking?

    Exactly. It’s kind of how you react to the racist uncle at a family dinner. Huh, he said that. Okay, moving on….Fine for family dinner a bit odd for a US Senate Race Debate.


  57. - ArchPundit - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 1:07 pm:

    ==For some inexplicable reason 538 still shows Kirk with a 7% chance of winning; I think that is 6.9 points too high.

    Remember they are running their algorithm off of the chances that given what we observe, in so many cases this will be the outcome. So in the number of races we have seen like this, the public polls have been off this much in that direction how often? About 7% of the time. It isn’t a subjective argument that I think is legit in this case–this makes Kirk toast, but Silver and Enten don’t add that to the model.


  58. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 28, 16 @ 3:48 pm:

    ==What kinda sticks with me is that the moderator and the debate panelists never brought it up after he said it. What the heck were they thinking?

    Exactly. It’s kind of how you react to the racist uncle at a family dinner. Huh, he said that. Okay, moving on….Fine for family dinner a bit odd for a US Senate Race Debate.–

    No, it was just bad journalism.

    A simple “what are you trying to say, Senator?” was in order.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Five Ways to Build Community in Online Classrooms
* Can We Design Online Learning Platforms That Feel More Intimate Than Massive?
* Can We Design Online Learning Platforms That Feel More Intimate Than Massive?
* New York to resist Trump rollback of affirmative action in college admissions process
* 5 Amazing Student Success Stories from India
* Everything Old Is New Again


* THOMAS RHETT TO DELIVER ?UNFORGETTABLE' PERFORMANCE AT 2018 ILLINOIS STATE FAIR
* IDPH Investigation Continues As Foodborne Illnesses Increase
* Gov. Rauner signs HB 5611
* Summit for Success: IDOT providing tools, opportunity for disadvantaged businesses
* Illinois Payrolls Jump +18,100

  
* We reported our UFO encounters to the government at San Diego Comic-Con
* ​Australia claims it's a 'leader' in digital government
* Xiaomi Mi A2 said to cost at least $300 in Romania
* AT&T bringing 5G to Charlotte, Raleigh, Oklahoma City
* WARR Hyperloop pod hits 284 mph to win SpaceX competition
* MyRepublic pays AU$25k NBN speed claims penalty
* Labor wants Canberra to extend My Health Record opt-out window

* White Sox Minor League Update: July 22, 2018
* White Sox, Angels go with young starters
* White Sox Minor League Update: July 22, 2018
* White Sox: Dylan Covey's curveball showing signs of success
* New changeup helps White Sox pitcher Dylan Covey during care...
* White Sox Weekly: Chuck Garfien, Ed Farmer, “That Dude Rick ...
* Eloy Jimenez is swinging some kind of a hot bat in Triple-A, giving...


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