Barack Obama: Gaffe machine

Michelle Malkin's picture

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 tornadoes in Kansas 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, S.D., 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, Ala., 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, Ala., 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, Mo., Obama showed off his knowledge of the war in Afghanistan by homing 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 cleanup:

“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.”

Barack Obama — promoted by the Left and the media as an all-knowing, articulate, transcendent Messiah — is a walking, talking gaffe machine. How many more passes does he get? How many more can we afford?

[Michelle Malkin is author of “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.” Her email address is] COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

login to post comments | Michelle Malkin's blog

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Sat, 05/24/2008 - 10:38pm.

Even John McCain is ignoring her now.

Paranoia, or maybe a slow news day, has caused Malkin to accuse Rachel Ray of sporting a jihadist-like fashion accessory in a new Dunkin' Donuts ad.

I sure am glad Malkin is on the Republican side. She continues to be a conservative embarrassment.


rock78's picture
Submitted by rock78 on Sat, 05/24/2008 - 11:10pm.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sat, 05/24/2008 - 11:00pm.

The Stereotypical Democrat

And here... I'll throw in another......And How About This Marxist?

Yeah..... you guys stand heads above Conservatives.... In your own minds.


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Sat, 05/24/2008 - 11:35am.

A few minor misstatements on the campaign trail easily corrected. I saw his speech about the tornado; he corrected himself within a few minutes saying he was tired and meant to say “10”. Earthshaking stuff here alright. Let’s all forget that Malkin’s guy who is in office now has literally volumes of books quoting his malapropisms. If this is the Repub’s new strategery I think they’re misunderestimating its impact.

At least Obama knows the difference between Shia's and Sunni's, a distinction which McCain cannot seem to hold onto from one day to the next.

But Malkin knew it was all nothing, just preface to the poison pen ending trying with her selective editing to have Obama seem to claim: Iran doesn’t “pose a serious threat to us”.

Nice editing Michelle! Here’s Obama’s whole quote: “Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us.”

Perfectly true. Perfectly reasonable statement.

Here it is on YouTube:

Obama on Iran

Then she closes with this: “Barack Obama — promoted by the Left and the media as an all-knowing, articulate, transcendent Messiah….”

This is not promoted by the Left it all comes from the fringe Right. Everybody here knows there are two bloggers amongst us who have repeatedly and consistently claimed exactly this sort of thing. Who is the biggest Leftist: beaver or Hobbs?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.