Republican strategist Karl Rove engaged in some friendly — if not tone deaf — banter with Democratic strategist Donna Brazile on Sunday, joking that she owed him some “fried chicken.”
During a panel discussion on ABC, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan noted that many conflicts within the Republican Party would be healed after a strong presidential candidate emerged.
“That was Bill Clinton after Walter Mondale lost, after Jimmy Carter lost,” Brazile pointed out. “We had a dynamic governor who was reform minded, who took those reform issues and brought them into the national forefront. He really helped recharge the Democratic Party.”
“But you know, the Republican Party is out to lunch,” she added, turning to Rove. “I watched CPAC, Charles — I mean, Karl… Charles was former friend.”
“I thought I was a current friend,” Rove laughed.
“You’re always a friend,” Brazile replied. “But you owe me some chili.”
“You owe me some fried chicken,” Rove joked with his best Southern drawl.
“Well, I saved your life with malaria once,” the Democratic strategist recalled.
“Well, yes you did,” Rove admitted.
“We go back a long way,” Brazile quipped before moving on to point out that the Republican Party “continues to reject the majority of the American people.”
“They don’t want to be associated with a party that talks down to them, that’s condescending, that attacks their rights and them calls them victims,” she observed.
While Brazile did not appear to be offended by Rove’s remark, certain foods like fried chicken and watermelon have a history of been used to stereotype and slur African-Americans.
“A bucket of fried chicken may suggest nasty racial stereotypes by virtue of its unwholesome image… as much as by its particular history as a plantation staple,” Jesse Bering explained in a 2011 column for Slate. “As an unhealthy and inexpensive food, fried chicken invokes images of poverty, ignorance, sloth, and other racist associations.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast March 24, 2013.