Less than 48 hours into her U.S. Senate campaign, Loretta Sanchez made two, unforced gaffes and topped off the embarrassments by providing what could be the most inadvertently hilarious footage in the Democratic Party primary to replace retiring Barbara Boxer.
Sanchez first tried to tell a story to a gathering of native Americans at the state party's convention in Anaheim this weekend. The 19-year congresswoman tapped her hand on her mouth and said, "Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!"–the stereotypical battle cry of attacking Indian warriors. Her lame punchline served to distinguish American Indians and individuals from India.
A native American in the crowd wasn't amused and gave reporters his cell phone video of what he viewed as Sanchez's offensive remarks.
Next, instead of quickly explaining or apologizing for the blunder, the wanna be Senator committed the mistake of a rookie politician: she refused to field questions by reporters covering the convention.
"Sorry, we don't have time today," she said before trying to pretend she couldn't hear a reporter's questions. "Sorry. Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!"
Her third strike will live in infamy. She uttered the aforementioned lines while wearing high heels, holding up her hands and running by a television news camera crew. Kamala Harris, California's Attorney General and Sanchez's opponent, couldn't have done better for herself tormenting a Loretta voodoo doll with a sharp pin. Harris pounced, calling the gaffes "shocking."
The episode will only contribute to the Republican's easy, more real by the day caricature of the congresswoman as an airhead.
Orange County politicians have a history of running from reporters. Sanchez's 40-yard dash reminded me of September 2009 inside the state capitol in Sacramento, where Assemblyman Mike Duvall sprinted through the hallways to escape me and KCBS's Dave Lopez asking questions about his controversial ties to a utility company lobbyist. A lewd audio recording had captured a married, pro-family values Duvall, then the vice chairman of an assembly energy committee, bragging about screwing and spanking the lobbyist. He also mentioned his delight that he'd witnessed his, um, DNA pouring out of the nude woman when she darted up stairs after one of their intimate sessions. Duvall resigned within hours of publication of the story.
In 2010, Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano blasted Sanchez for saying the "Vietnamese" were trying to steal her congressional seat from her, a report you can read HERE.
Go HERE to see Ben Brumfield's CNN report with footage of slippery Sanchez running by reporters at the Anaheim Convention Center.
[UPDATE, 11:55 a.m.: Michael Finnegan at the Los Angeles Times reports Sanchez told convention delegates late this morning she "sincerely" apologies for Saturday's "offensive" remark and blames her thoughtlessness on an "exciting rush of meetings."]