The Trump era has been an interesting one for Atlantic County Republican Freeholder John Carman, who mostly represents Egg Harbor Township from the obscure county legislative body's third district.
During the inauguration, Carman, a veteran's advocate and staunch Trump supporter, was interviewed on Fox News in Washington. The day after, he shared a Facebook meme that asked "Will the women's protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?" — sparking a local and national outcry that ended with women bringing boxes of macaroni and cheese to the freeholder's meeting and, eventually, after laughing it off at first, an apology.
Carman also got himself a Democratic challenger in November's Freeholder election: Ashley Bennett, 32, a psychiatric emergency screener in Cape May, who was one of the women who came to protest his remarks and who has never run for elective office before.
More recently, Carman was in hot water again when a Facebook photo revealed that his ubiquitous denim vest had a patch on it that showed an outline of New Jersey, divided north and south, with a Confederate flag pattern in the south and a U.S. flag in the north.
The condemnation was again swift (Bennett: "As a woman of color, I had a deep visceral reaction to the images I saw," she said in a statement.) And this time, his seat on the line, Carman's apology was also swift: He noted the patch dated to an old political battle of South Jersey vs North Jersey and said he meant no racial overtones. He said he would remove the patch.
But the hits keep on coming for Carman. Over the weekend, the popular podcast Lovett or Leave It, hosted by former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett and part of the arsenal of Crooked Media podcasts run by former Obama speechwriters, including Pod Save America, Carman was again the subject of unflattering national attention.
With podcast guest New York U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a possible presidential candidate in 2020, doing the reading, Carman's women's march quote was the subject of a question in a game called, with expletive deleted, "What __ Year is This?" And Carman himself was named as the author (even though he was, in fact, sharing a meme).
Lovett explained the game as "Sen. Gillibrand reads sexist quotes about women in politics," and the contestant, named Joanna, has to determine "what year, decade, century or millenia these quotes were issued."
The transcript of the exchange is as follows (or at around the 27-minute mark of the podcast.)
LOVETT: Senator, please read Joanna the first quote.
GILLIBRAND: "Will the women's protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?"
LOVETT: Now, Joanna, was that something that was said after the Women's Liberation March of 1971 or the Women's Protest March of 2017?
JOANNA: That was 20 and [expletive deleted] 17.
GILLIBRAND, in the background: Who said it?
LOVETT: That is correct. It was said by Atlantic County Freeholder Republican John Carman. We don't know who he is. He didn't do well tonight.