Kansas Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal says it was an honest mistake that he forwarded on an email that referred to the First Lady as “Mrs. YoMama.” The email also included a picture of Michelle Obama and Dr. Seuss’s “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” with the phrase “separated at birth?”
According to O’Neal, he didn’t fully read the text of the email itself, only the picture. The full text read “I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing Mrs. YoMama a wonderful, long Hawaii Christmas vacation — at our expense, of course.”
“Cartoons are intended to be humorous. This one made me laugh — I’ve had bad hair days too,” O’Neal said in a statement, according to The Kansas City Star. “I forwarded it too quickly, missing the text included in the body of the mail. To those I have offended, I am sorry. That was not at all my intent.”
O’Neal’s half-hearted apology was still more contrite than the statement from his communications director, who said,”Political cartoons are a part of American culture. It’s hard to see how Mike O’Neal poking fun at himself and forwarding a lighthearted political cartoon about the first lady’s extravagant spending of taxpayer funds during a time when many Americans are financially struggling is newsworthy.”
Was the email a simple “political cartoon” as the Kansas Republicans state? Or was the “Mrs. YoMama” taunt a thinly veiled racist remark? If nothing else, that explains why O’Neal is so quick to defend the sending of the cartoon, but clarify that he didn’t read the full text closely.
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