When Akin said in remarks published Thursday that McCaskill did not act “ladylike” in their first debate, both Republicans and Democrats shook their heads. They may have slapped their foreheads when just a couple hours later, it was revealed that Akin’s referring to McCaskill as a “a wildcat out of the cage.”
If Akin really wants crucial support and resources for his campaign, Republican strategists told TPM, he just has to stop saying stuff like that. The NRSC on Wednesday opened the door to supporting Akin again, but on Friday – after Akin’s newest quotes hit the Internet – there were signs the NRSC is rethinking its rethinking.
I don’t hear the sound of doors slamming yet, but who knows? Akin seems congenitally unable to keep his foot out of his mouth. Jeff Smith in a Politico opinion piece (worth reading in its entirety) doesn’t think all is lost for Brother Todd, however:
… The race may well be determined by next week’s end. If Akin can withstand McCaskill’s furious TV/radio ad onslaught and stay within 4-5 points while holding McCaskill under 47 or 48, national money returns and it’s probably a 1-2 point race either way. If he can’t stay close in the next week, good night, Todd. The cavalry doesn’t do charity cases.
Of course, the Akin folks profess not to be worried in spite of their candidate’s proclivity for misspeaking in public. Talking Point Memo also reports:
Rick Tyler, the former Newt Gingrich adviser now working for Akin, told TPM that his candidate’s remarks are no problem.
“He’s doing great!” Tyler said.
On “ladylike,” Tyler accused Democrats of being overly sensitive.
“We don’t say ‘ladylike or gentlemanly?’ Did you notice how the president of the United States was introduced in his last speech? ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States. All those people must have been offended right?” he said. “I lost my subscription to the candidate’s guide to political correctness. Help me out how do I refer to the president’s wife? Isn’t she the First Lady?”
But Tyler suggested Akin perhaps wished he didn’t say the “caged wildcat” line.
One feels for the poor guy Gingrich assigned to Akin. He’s giving it the old college try, but in doing so he comes off just as unclear on the concept as Todd. Nobody is suggesting that the it’s the word “ladylike” all by itself that’s got Akin in the headlines again. The outrage reflects the fact that denying “ladylike” status to women who are capable of holding their own in a political debate indicates that the person doing so has some serious issues. I believe we call it misogyny rather than political correctness.