The questions seemed innocent enough. Artvoice, a weekly newspaper in Buffalo, N.Y., asked prominent Buffalo residents a few simple 2017-related questions, like what they would like to happen in 2017 and what they like to see go away next year.
Some of the respondents used the questions to stump for Uber in Western N.Y., or peace and prosperity. Some went the funny route and asked the Russians to stop hacking their iTunes account or for a return to glory for the Buffalo Bills. Some were more political, hoping for the impeachment of President-elect Donald Trump or the extinction of political correctness.
Then there was Carl Paladino. The co-chairman of Trump’s New York campaign, who wished death on President Barack Obama and one of his closest advisers.
Asked what he would like to see happen in 2017, Paladino wrote, “Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarrett, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.”
But Paladino wasn’t done wishing the Obamas a Happy New Year.
Asked what he would like to see go away in 2017, Paladino turned his fire on Michelle Obama. “I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”
It’s not the first time people have made animal-related disparaging remarks about Michelle Obama. A West Virginia county employee was suspended briefly after calling Obama an “Ape in heels” on Facebook. She was scheduled to return to work on Friday.
Paladino confirmed the comments were his to the Buffalo News.
“Of course I did,” he said. “Tell them all to go f--- themselves.”
Then he went after a black editor at the newspaper.
“Tell that Rod Watson I made the comment just for him,” Paladino said.
These are hardly the first incendiary remarks Paladino has made. When he ran for governor in 2010, several news organizations reported on racist and sexually explicit emails he had sent. In 2015, he criticized students — “damn Asians” — who established residency during their first year at the University of Buffalo.
On Wednesday, Paladino failed in his attempt to get all Buffalo public schools to take down pictures of Obama and replace them with pictures of Trump. District schools will put up a poster of all former and current U.S. presidents.