Tuesday night’s presidential debate wasn’t the be-all end-all meeting viewers had anticipated but there were many watercooler-worthy moments. Tinged with a possible hint of frustration and superiority Sen. John McCain’s reference to Sen. Barack Obama as “that one,” emerged as one of the most talked about aspects of last nights debate.
The Huffington Post called it ” not-so-subtle race baiting,” adding, “at one point, an African American woman was asking him about green jobs and he turned his back on her — skulking off towards his podium…”
Moments after McCain used the phrase, Obama spokesman Bill Burton emailed reporters: “Did John McCain just refer to Obama as ‘that one’?”
The phrase was supposed to be a part of McCain’s sarcastic rebuttal on Obama’s voting record. “There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate – loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies,” McCain says. “And it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. You know who voted for it –- you might never know? That one. You know who voted against it? Me.”
Within a matter of hours “that one” swept the Internet with some savvy entrepreneur snapping up the domain name, www.thatone08.com, and creating a Facebook page selling t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase. So far the Facebook page has more than 5,000 fans.
Nicolle Wallace, a spokesman for McCain, said in a statement, “I am shocked that at a moment of national crisis, where our economy is on the minds of every single person, I am shocked that they are again proving to be the fussiest campaign in American history.”
As McCain scrambles to gain ground after ceding Michigan, the phrase may have been the result of a beleaguered campaign and a grueling race.
Readers, do you think McCain’s comment had racial over/undertones? Will this affect the presidential race? Will you be purchasing a t-shirt?
Renita Burns is the editorial assistant for BlackEnterprise.com.