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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Barack Obama Calls A Reporter 'Sweetie'- So What?

Barack Obama was taking a tour of a Chrysler plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, on Wednesday and a reporter, WXYZ's Peggy Agar, asked a question of Obama and he responded "Hold on one second, sweetie."

YouTube URL for the video here.

This created a buzz among reporters on the presidential campaign trail and was reported on by WXYZ as well different news organizations already and has being picked up along the blogoshere.

I see opinion pieces comparing this with Hillary Clinton's remark about Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson and saying he was "flirting".

The term sexism has been thrown about as well.

All the fuss being made of her "sweetie" remarks got to the point where he called the reporter in question and apologized for calling her sweetie.

"Hi Peggy. This is Barack Obama. I'm calling to apologize on two fronts. One was you didn't get your question answered and I apologize. I thought that we had set up interviews with all the local stations. I guess we got it with your station but you weren't the reporter that got the interview. And so, I broke my word. I apologize for that and I will make up for it.

"Second apology is for using the word 'sweetie.' 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. I expect that my press team will be happy to try to make it up to you whenever we are in Detroit next."

You can listen to the voicemail yourself, right here. (Right top)

My first reaction on seeing this story was "so what"?

Having lived in the south I have heard "babe", "hon", "sweetie" and a whole slew of other terms that are not meant to be offensive, they are simply a manner of speaking.

I may have problems with Obama's stands on issues or his associtaions, but I think everyone has made a mountain out of a molehill here for no other reason than to bash Obama for doing something that in my opinion, was actually endearing.

It was mentioned in The Swamp that reporter Jim Rutenberg from the New York Times Political blog reported that Obama did this in Pennsylvania once to a female factory worker.

Oh, the shame!!!!

Have we become so hyper-sensitive today that a simple slip of the tongue from a man obviously used to calling females "sweetie", not meant disrespectfully, but meant as a term of endearment, causes this much of a fuss in the media?

Are there not actual issues that people can discuss?

(Note- Anyone who reads my articles on a regular basis, knows that I do not favor Obama and have plenty of problems with his issues, but I find that in this instance, the media and much of the blogosphere has been completely unfair to him.)