Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, up for re-election this November, was asked by a local radio station whether or not he supported deporting Justin Bieber. "Um, as a dad?," he replied, "Is there some place I can sign?" We're calling the race for Warner right now.
It was FM 99 that had the foresight to ask the politically loaded question (which you can hear at right). Warner, who has three daughters, didn't miss a beat.
Which is to be expected. The station was referring to this petition at the White House website, which sailed past the 100,000 signatures needed by February 22 in order to demand an official response form the administration. It was launched on January 23 and, as of writing, has more than 245,000 signatures. I mean, 145,000 of those signatures don't even matter! It's just people signing on to express their annoyance. By the way, the petition is tagged: "Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement," "Human Rights," and "Women's Issues."
A Huffington Post/YouGov poll found that Bieber is deeply unpopular with most Americans who are not the teenaged daughters of someone. Fifty-six percent of respondents have a "very unfavorable" opinion of the "singer," and 52 percent — more than half! — think he deserves to be deported following his Miami arrest at the end of last month. This is why our legal system isn't subject to popular opinion, by the way.
What's more, the demographics favor Warner. Virginia is a pretty evenly divided state, meaning that Warner, a Democrat, would like to pick up votes from independents and Republicans this November. According to the poll,. Both of those groups felt more strongly about deporting Bieber than Democrats, with 55 percent agreeing the pop "star" should be sent back to Canada. Mark Warner: Tough on crime.
At the end of last week, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters — who had asked the White House spokesman to weigh in on a petition demanding that Justin Bieber be deported — that the administration's response "will come relatively soon." After all, Obama would also like to be seen as tough on crime, and would want a convicted criminal deported as soon as possible.
Warner was in a Senate hearing when news of his strong anti-Bieber stance became known. When he emerged, more reporters had additional questions. "As somebody who has been blessed with so many talents, he ought to behave better," Warner said.
We assume the "so many talents" comment was meant to be sarcastic.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.