In a 2009 Facebook post, Karin Housley had some choice words about then-First Lady Michelle Obama’s posture when she was meeting Queen Elizabeth II.
Housley's comments started off at merely mean-girl-in-your-middle-school levels of disrespectful:
“Michelle is soooo far from cool,” wrote Housley, then three years away from running for and winning a state senate seat representing St. Marys Point. “Don’t we expect our First Ladies to at least stand up straight? And my dear sister, know the proper etiquette and DO NOT TOUCH THE QUEEN!”
But later in the comments thread of the post, things took a bit of a turn.
“I do miss Nancy Reagan. Ronald even more. Speaking of Bedtime for Bonzo, I think even that chimp stood up straighter than Michelle,” she wrote. And, perhaps prophetically, “Uh-oh, someone is going to make a comment.”
Comparing black people to apes is a racist trope as old as tropes and racism. The Huffington Post, which reported on the old Facebook posts, recalled the case of Roseanne Barr, star of the eponymous sitcom Roseanne, who tweeted that Valerie Jarrett, an advisor to former president Barack Obama, looked like the child of “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.”
Barr, you may recall, was thrown off said eponymous sitcom for being flagrantly and publicly racist.
Housley’s campaign didn’t respond to interview requests, but her spokesperson, Jake Schneider, told the Huffington Post that it was “not surprising” that the paper was doing Housley’s opponent Tina Smith’s “dirty work” for her.
“This is what the radical left does when they are losing – they attack Republicans so they don’t have to come up with solutions to the problems Minnesotans are facing,” he said. (In fact, Smith is beating Housley in the polls, and many people still don't even know who Karin is. Sad!)
Housley was not done after the Bedtime for Bonzo comment. She posted another thought in the same thread saying she wasn’t “picking on” the First Lady just because they had their political differences.
“Matter of fact, fashion just might have been the reason,” for being critical, she wrote, in response to another user’s comment about First Lady Obama wearing J. Crew instead of “Ann Taylor” or “Donna Karan.”
“I lived in D.C. for three years (well, actually, near the Naval Academy) and our youngest was born there,” she wrote. “The flowers should be in bloom! Bring Michelle a bouquet, oh wait, she’s started her own garden… and [sic] organic one. Just bring her a gift certificate to White House Black Market. I’m crackin’ myself up.”
The good news, Karin, is your name recognition is about to go way up, and fast. The bad news is you're being quoted accurately.