Each campaign season manages to surprise us anew with the creative ways in which candidates attack one another.
Native Americans news takes to the campaign trail today with this year’s early frontrunner in that particular category. It comes from J.D. Hayworth, the Republican primary opponent of former presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona, with an ad that McCain terms a slap to Native Americans. (See the ad on Hayworth’s Web site, here.)
The ad depicts McCain in blue warpaint, a la the Na’vi people in the blockbuster movie “Avatar,” and spoofs him as the Oscar nominee for “Best Conservative Actor.”
Lots of people see the Na’vi in the movie as a sort of Native people in space, and McCain took that tack when blasting the ad. As Fox News recounts here:
“Ex-Congressman J.D. Hayworth should immediately apologize and take down his latest online ad, which is an outrageous offense to John McCain’s lifetime of honorable service to our state and nation, and insulting to Native Americans here in Arizona and across America,” McCain campaign manager Shiree Verdone said Thursday in a written statement.
Hayworth’s campaign suggested that McCain get a sense of humor.
But a member of the Navajo Nation contacted by Fox wasn’t laughing:
“Several staff assistants in the president’s office (who are Navajo) took a look and agreed that, at best, whatever message is trying to be conveyed is muddled and, at worst, some native people will find it offensive,” spokesman George Hardeen said in an e-mail message.
“No other ethnic group is so frequently publically maligned in this very fashion, and here we have a candidate for U.S. Senate succumbing to the temptation of using images of race to bait an opponent,” he said.
Meanwhile, we’re heading off to the store for some hip waders to get us through what promises to be a long and very muddy campaign season.
Tags: "Avatar", Arizona Republican Senate primary, buffalo post, ethnic stereotyping, Gwen Florio, J.D. Hayworth, Na'vi, Native American news, Navajo Nation, Politics, R-Ariz., U.S. Sen. John McCain