County previews new "Justice Center"
Endangered Durham's Gary Kueber joins "Shooting the Bull" tonight

Dems to Nifong: Obama says please just go away, OK?

I was giving a tour of Durham yesterday to a friend moving here to start a new job. We toured a wide variety of the Bull City -- from the Guess/Infinity/Milton corner of suburbia, to Old West Durham and Northgate Park, to Pickett Rd and South Square, to the Streets at Southpoint area.

One thing that stood out for my friend: the Obama signs everywhere. In fact, I didn't notice a McCain sticker or sign anywhere in town.

As it happens, the Obama campaign office opened for business yesterday in downtown Durham, at 112 W. Main St. Many pols, including Cora Cole-McFadden and U.S. Rep. David Price. And, according to the H-S report, at least one perhaps unwelcome guest:

Even former District Attorney Mike Nifong, who lost his job last year because of the Duke lacrosse scandal, spent much of Saturday morning canvassing homes for the Democratic presidential hopeful.

"He's the right man at the right time," said Nifong. "We need to get him elected."

Local Obama spokesman Paul Cox said later that Nifong "has no official role in the campaign and was not recruited by the campaign. He simply showed up as a volunteer."

Helpful hint, Mikey boy. Want to see Barack Obama elected?

Our suggestion: Put a damned McCain sign all over your house, your car. Wear a McCain t-shirt around. Buy some of that McCain golf swag that got mocked on teh Internets a few weeks ago and then go hit the links at Willowhaven.

Mr. Nifong, when you show up somewhere on the political scene these days, the biohazard decontamination team practically needs be close behind to clean up the mess.

So, dearly not-so-departed (from Durham) defrocked district attorney dude: if you really want to see Obama do well in the fall, try not to get your own name within six column inches of his in the fishwrap, 'kay? Lest the Freepers and Drudgies and other crazies get more ammunition.

PS: Barack loves ya right back--

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in a written response to a constituent, said that an "independent inquiry is needed" into the conduct of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong.... Obama said of the call for a federal investigation that he "will be following its progress closely."

Comments

David McMullen

If Nifong is trying to rehabilitate his image, he's starting way too soon. Even Nixon had the sense to wait a decade or so.

Memo to Mike: Vanishing from public view was the right idea, but you need to keep doing it until, oh, about 2017. By then, people might start saying, "Mike who? Duke Lacrosse? What?"

Allen

In relation to the whole Northern Durham section, I love how when you get a mile past the city limits, it's a totally different area. One of the best drives around is going from Durham to Roxboro on NC 157. Especially during the spring and fall.

Coop

I have to admit I'm a little taken aback by the uncharacteristically semi-snotty tone of this post. You don't usually go there, Kevin, which is why I like your blog over others. It may simply be a reaction to the hypocrisy of many leaders in this town and a weariness over the ugliness of it all. I lack the blood lust to pound Nifong into dust that others seem to have -- shall we bring back drawing and quartering, would that be enough for everyone? Shall we ask him to kill himself, would that satisfy people? From what I can see, the man's life is utterly and completely ruined, everyone remembers and vilifies his name, but few remember the names of the accused, and while I am all for an independent inquiry -- I think the one thing we have learned from this debacle is that passing judgment in the media is not the best way to see justice done.

Present company excepted, I think what sticks in my craw the most is that so many of the people now calling self-righteously for Nifong to essentially disappear and/or be locked away forever are the same people who looked the other way while he bullied the justice system and manipulated the media to ruin the reputations of those three boys. Nifong cannot have done that all by himself, not in this town. Yet I guarantee you that the very people calling loudest for his continued flogging these days are the same people who remained silent when Nifong was running amok.

Meanwhile, I suggest you take a look at the actions of the D.A.'s office in the so-called "satanic cult"case going on right now -- the office doesn't seem to have changed its tactic much since Nifong left, and that tells me he wasn't the whole problem.

Kevin Davis

@Coop: Yes, this was a bit snarkier than usual. And I agree, there are folks calling for far more punishment for Nifong than precedent or the case deserves. He's basically lost his career and likely to face big financial penalties for the whole matter. That's punishment aplenty for one's entire life, it seems to me.

My point was more that -- as someone supporting Obama for president, to put that out there -- for better or worse, it's not necessarily productive for someone with such a negative public standing to be out campaigning for the candidate. Same reason you saw McCain tooling around on a golf cart with Bush #41 and not Bush #43 last week. (Speaking of which, did anyone notice the sign on Bush #41's cart? "Cart Belongs to #41 - HANDS OFF." Got a chuckle out of that one.)

I'm certainly not in the tar-and-feather crowd on Nifong, though. He's going to live with this for the rest of his life. Should have been clearer on that.

Durham Bull Pen

LOL. How can we miss him if he won't go away?

KeepDurhamDifferent!

@Coop: when you say few remember the names of the accused, who exactly do you mean? I've got three jersey numbers on a band around my wrist.

Kisses,
The tar-and-feather crowd

Coop

It's good to know you have something meaningful in your life, David.

Kevin, thanks for being a non-reactionary, even-tempered guy, as always.

Chris

Remember when the Independent endorsed Mike Nifong for reelection, back when he was a hero for going after those privileged white athletes? Remember when there were rallies in support of the "victim" at NCCU, and a Duke student was the target of a random assault by someone screaming "stop raping our women"? Remember the protestors waving signs that said "I believe her"? Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one who remembers all of that....

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