His Ed Muskie moment

first_imgThe expression, which refers to a character in the most famous of the fictional Uncle Remus stories, is sometimes used to portray an inextricable situation. But, as the word also has been used as a derogatory term for blacks, it raised eyebrows when spoken from the White House podium.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThen he had to stop. Gripping the podium, grimacing and looking down, Snow paused for a full 10 seconds – a virtual lifetime of dead air when television cameras are rolling and 100 pairs of eyes are trained on you – and gave talking several more aborted tries. “It’s my Ed Muskie moment,” the 50-year-old Ohio native joked about his response. He referred to the controversy in 1972 when Muskie, then a Maine senator and Democratic presidential candidate, choked up while complaining about unsavory media reports about his wife. Muskie’s campaign never recovered from the ensuing dispute over whether he cried or merely had melted snowflakes on his face. Snow’s briefing also produced a couple of backpedals, several pointed rejoinders – and at least one turn of phrase that raised eyebrows. Asked repeatedly about reports that the government has collected records on millions of Americans’ phone calls, Snow said, “I don’t want to hug the tar baby of trying to comment on the program, the alleged program, the existence of which I can neither confirm nor deny.” WASHINGTON – White House press briefings rarely veer into the deeply personal. But that’s what happened Tuesday during Tony Snow’s first on-camera tangle with the White House press corps. It was nearing the end of the new presidential spokesman’s lively question-and-answer period before the cameras, and he was asked why he wears one of the popular yellow “LIVESTRONG” bracelets that raise money for cancer through the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Snow, who had his colon removed last year and underwent six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with colon cancer, struggled with his response for 45 seconds. “I had cancer last year,” he began. “It’s going to sound stupid and I’ll be personal here.” last_img read more