"Once candidates embraced the President's policies and record they will be stuck with them—no matter how unpopular they are. Hence the literary reference."
— Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in an email to Politico about his using the word "tar baby" to describe President Barack Obama's positions.
Why it stinks: Barbour rightly points out that "tar baby" is a reference to the tale of Brer Rabbit. It is also used to describe a difficult problem that gets worse the more attempts there are to resolve it. It is also a racial epithet to describe African American children.
If anyone is aware of the multiple, offensive meanings of the term tar-baby, it's the former governor and Yazoo City native with a history of landing in hot water over racist comments. Just notice that in his "apology" email to Politico, he avoided using the term.