She wasn’t part of the panel, but that didn’t stop Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s wife, Cathy, from standing up saying what she really thought about the news media during a panel discussion in Charlotte on Wednesday.
Mrs. Malloy, who headed a rape crisis center for 11 years while her husband was mayor of Stamford and is now executive director of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, told a group gathered for a discussion on women in politics that it’s not easy being in the public spotlight.
But her remarks were so damning that she apologized through her husband’s communications department Thursday morning.
Here’s what happened:
During the question-and-answer portion of an EMILY’s List panel discussion, Mrs. Malloy recounted how earlier this summer she was pulled over for not wearing her seatbelt.
“In April I drove to work and I forgot to put my seat belt on, and I was pulled over by police,“ Hearst newspapers reported. “Of course, they had no idea who I was because I drive this really shitty car, and they didn’t believe that I was the governor’s wife in this shitty car. And I was driving myself, because of course, governor’s wives only get security when we’re with our husbands. We’re pretty second-class without them.”
She went onto say “We choose to be in public life, we choose to run for office so nobody should feel sorry for us, this is what we want to do…. It’s just so bizarre.”
The LA Times reported that the panel’s moderator Joanna Coles, the former editor of Marie Claire magazine, which sponsored the event, tried to interrupt. “You raise a very good point,” she began.
But Malloy continued according to the LA Times.
“Someone was saying earlier you can’t get people to run. And I think the reason people don’t want to run is … they say, ‘Wow, do we really want to subject our children to this, do we really want to subject our wives to this, or our husbands?’ And I’ll tell you it’s a big decision because … the media just won’t let up. Every single thing, you know, what are you doing. I have a son who was in significant trouble and just because …” Malloy said according to the LA Times.
Again the panelists tried to interrupt Malloy, who this time took the cue and sat down while saying “I don’t think she got what I was telling her.”
The published reports prompted Mrs. Malloy to offer an apology Thursday.
“First let me say that I apologize for my remarks,” Malloy said. “I was trying to convey a certain sentiment, and I didn’t do a good job of expressing what I really feel.”
She went onto explain that “Although I don’t always agree with what’s written by members of the media, I do believe that they’ve been fair to my family and me. I made these comments at a panel hosted by Emily’s List, and I was addressing the question of why more people don’t get into public life, especially women.“
“The point I was trying to make is that for those of us who do get into public service, there are sacrifices we have to make – including some of our privacy. Sometimes that’s frustrating. But we believe deeply in public service, and so we make whatever sacrifices we need to make. We don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for us, because we’re honored to be able to serve,” Malloy concluded.
The panel she attended included actress, author and activist Ashley Judd, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Orlando Police Chief, candidate for Congress Val Demings, and EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock.