They were just a couple of flirty one-liners delivered to a handsome fellow in a Buffalo-area restaurant. But because the âhottieâ was President Barack
In less time than it takes to say âextra crispy,â the formerly anonymous 45-year-old was on big-time news sites around the world. The New York Times blogged about her. The New York Daily
Jay Leno got into the act and fired off a joke about her. Someone dubbed her the âBuffalo cougar.â Twitterers passed the story around, and people began leaping to the conclusion that Haley was a publicity hound, a jerk, a loose woman, a âclassless trampâ or all of the above.
âNo home wreckerâ
At first it was funny. Then it got to be more than Haley bargained for.
âThe Internet has a lot of nasty things on it about me and I didnât mean any harm. Iâm no home wrecker,â Haley told NBCâs Buffalo affiliate, WGRZ-TV. âI was just trying to be funny, and I almost regret that now.â
Obama had given a speech on the economy in Buffalo Thursday morning. On the way out of town, he had his motorcade stop at Duffâs Famous Wings in suburban Cheektowaga to get an order of the fiery snack that was invented in Buffaloâs Anchor Bar in 1964.
Haley works for the U.S. Department of
Haley, who is a Republican, admits that sheâs the type who says whatever sheâs thinking and is always looking for a laugh. When Obama said hello to her while working the crowd, she blurted out, âYouâre a hottie with a smokinâ little body.â
Everybody thought it was pretty funny, including the president.
âHe laughed, and then he said we need to take a picture because we've got to send this back to Michelle,â Haley told NBC News. âSo I yelled, âEat your heart out, Michelle.â â
âA little skinnyâ
Haley got a good hug from the commander in
A generation ago, the harmless incident would have made a nice story in the newspapers. Today, it instantly became something to be dissected, judged, praised, ridiculed, condemned and repeated in endless variations around the planet.
The Post even managed to talk to Haleyâs former mother-in-law, who told the tabloid, âSheâs a lunatic. She likes a good time. She probably meant it harmlessly. It's just a joke.â
Some people would have turned it into a good 15 minutes of fame, but not Haley. By the end of the day, she was regretting ever saying anything. According to local news reports, she even turned down an offer to appear on a morning network news show in New York City.
She told NBC News in Buffalo Thursday that sheâd already had more publicity than she wanted. âPeople tell me I should think before I open my mouth,â she admitted.
Among those who say that is her teenage daughter. âShe yelled at me,â Haley said. âShe said I embarrassed her. I was just being funny.â