Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Some of Obama Gaffes
All it takes is one gaffe to taint a Republican for life. The political establishment never let Dan Quayle live down his fateful misspelling of “potatoe.” The New York Times distorted and misreported the first President Bush’s questions about new scanner technology at a grocers’ convention to brand him permanently as out of touch.
But what about Barack Obama? The guy’s a perpetual gaffe machine. Let us count the ways, large and small, that his tongue has betrayed him throughout the campaign:
*Last May, he claimed that Kansas tornadoes killed a whopping 10,000 people: “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.” The actual death toll: 12.
*Earlier this month in Oregon, he redrew the map of the United States: “Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go.”
*Last week, in front of a roaring Sioux Falls, South Dakota audience, Obama exulted: “Thank you Sioux City…I said it wrong. I’ve been in Iowa for too long. I’m sorry.”
*Explaining last week why he was trailing Hillary Clinton in Kentucky, Obama again botched basic geography: “Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it’s not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle.” On what map is Arkansas closer to Kentucky than Illinois?
*Obama has as much trouble with numbers as he has with maps. Last March, on the anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama, he claimed his parents united as a direct result of the civil rights movement: “There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born.” Obama was born in 1961. The Selma march took place in 1965. His spokesman, Bill Burton, later explained that Obama was “speaking metaphorically about the civil rights movement as a whole.”
*Earlier this month in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Obama showed off his knowledge of the war in Afghanistan by honing in on a lack of translators: “We only have a certain number of them and if they are all in Iraq, then it’s harder for us to use them in Afghanistan.” The real reason it’s “harder for us to use them” in Afghanistan: Iraqis speak Arabic or Kurdish. The Afghanis speak Pashto, Farsi, or other non-Arabic languages.
*Over the weekend in Oregon, Obama pleaded ignorance of the decades-old, multi-billion-dollar massive Hanford nuclear waste clean-up: “Here’s something that you will rarely hear from a politician, and that is that I’m not familiar with the Hanford, uuuuhh, site, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on there. (Applause.) Now, having said that, I promise you I’ll learn about it by the time I leave here on the ride back to the airport.” I assume on that ride, a staffer reminded him that he’s voted on at least one defense authorization bill that addressed the “costs, schedules, and technical issues” dealing with the nation’s most contaminated nuclear waste site.
*Last March, the Chicago Tribune reported this little-noticed nugget about a fake autobiographical detail in Obama’s “Dreams from My Father:” “Then, there’s the copy of Life magazine that Obama presents as his racial awakening at age 9. In it, he wrote, was an article and two accompanying photographs of an African-American man physically and mentally scarred by his efforts to lighten his skin. In fact, the Life article and the photographs don’t exist, say the magazine’s own historians.”
*And in perhaps the most seriously troubling set of gaffes of them all, Obama told a Portland crowd over the weekend that Iran doesn’t “pose a serious threat to us”–cluelessly arguing that “tiny countries” with small defense budgets can’t do us harm– and then promptly flip-flopped the next day, claiming, “I’ve made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave.”
In his second statement about Russia's invasion of Georgia, Obama said that the Security Council of the United Nations could be helpful. OOpsie. Russia has a veto power on the Security Council so that avenue to peace is even more worthless than normal. Could that fact have eluded a normal Columbia graduate with a major in Political Science?
He recently said that he considered enlisting in the military when he signed up for selective services when he turned 18 in Hawaii (but there wasn't enough action going on so he didn't join). The trouble is he couldn't have signed up when he turned 18 in 1979, because selective services wasn't reinstated (in the weak form it has now) until a year later, under President Carter. Oh, and in neither of his two memoirs did he mention this yearning for joining the military with a war going on. I guess it was not worthy of inclusion, at least not before his opponent was a decorated Viet Nam war veteran.
"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience here today — our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."
"…Obama also spoke about his uncle, who was part of the American brigade that helped to liberate Auschwitz…" Sorry, Senator, Auschwitz, in Poland, was liberated by the Soviets.
Obama recently complained about people speaking vis a vis his Muslim faith. George Stephanopoulos had to remind him that he was a Christian. And he clearly is a Christian.
"Since the Bush Administration launched a misguided war in Iraq, its policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in peoples' lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region.
No wonder, then, that demagogues like Hugo Chavez have stepped into this vacuum." Sorry, Obama, the Columbian dictator Chavez came to power in 1998, during the Clinton Administration. Difficult to blame President Bush for that.
"And, you know, let's take the example of Guantanamo. What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks -- for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated."
Well, Senator, we got some of them, but the primary builder of the bomb, Abdul Rahman Yasin, fled American justice and lived in Iraq, with Saddam's implicit permission (they pretended he was under arrest), until the invasion and then he fled to parts unknown. Not incapacitated.
Obama called the Banking Committee "my committee" when he is neither the head of it nor even on it.
And we needn't even go into detail about his calling his grandmother a "typical white person," calling the bulk of Americans 'bitter clingers to religion, guns and bigotry,' or calling a baby a "punishment"--any of which would probably have been political death if said by a Republican.
Some of these are mere slips of the tongue or ignorance, but look at the number of them and how little coverage most of them have received in the dominant leftwing media, which is so quick to pounce on the least slip or mistake of a Republican.
It's enough to cause one to think there might be double standard or something.
Write another post when Obama gets to 10% of the gaffes "W" has made.