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When Campaigning Takes It’s Toll- Obama’s “60 State” Mistake

May 12th, 2008 | by Ken Grandlund |

Campaigning takes its toll on candidates. They make mistakes, sometimes stupid mistakes, that make even their most able supporters roll their eyes. At BIO, we take great care to highlight these kinds of mistakes, especially when they come from the mouths and minds of politicians we dislike, distrust, or have no confidence in. Usually these folks are republicans, but plenty of democrats have earned the wrath (or at least ridicule) of the BIO writers.

Therefore, it is only fair to highlight the gaffes of even those politicians whom we believe in, who we think would make this country a better place. I support Barack Obama, you could even ass “Strongly” to that sentence and not be far off the mark. But that’s not going to stop me from pointing out a little error in geography he made over the weekend giving a speech in Oregon. It seems that the MSM is giving Obama a pass on this, but the RW blogosphere is having a good time with it all.

(I tried to embed the Youtube video here, but instead got this handy link- take a look and then come right on back.)

Obama 58 states 

57 states he’s been to? With one more to go? And that’s not including Alaska and Hawaii? Hmmmmm….

Now I really think Obama knows how many states we really have, he must, right? Maybe he was just trying to connect with Hillary’s West Virginia base. (You know, that state with the lowest percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree, lowest median household income, and lowest number of foreign born citizens or people who speak a second language.)

The only real problem I have with this Obama gaffe is the fact that the transcript of the speech on his official campaign website deletes this portion of his speech. I think that it was deleted intentionally and I don’t find that to be a very honest thing to do. True, one does try to minimize their errors by not repeating them, and true, Obama probably isn’t in charge of posting transcripts to the site, but still…pretending it never happenned is actually worse to me than the error itself.

Is this enough to turn me away from Barack? No, it isn’t. I find the statement in the speech to be mildly amusing in that “I can’t believe you actually said that” kind of way. And I find the “pretend he never said it” web aproach less that truthful.

But at least he didn’t call his wife a c#*t.

Or pretend to be shot at by snipers.

He just added a few more states to the Union. And he didn’t even have to start a war to do it. Talk about leadership.



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  1. 7 Responses to “When Campaigning Takes It’s Toll- Obama’s “60 State” Mistake”

  2. By Steve O on May 13, 2008 | Reply

    I honestly believe that when he said this he meant that he had been to all 50 states, some of them twice now.

    This was an honest misspoke unlike Hillary’s lie that she keeps referring to as a “misspoke.”

    Intelligent people misspeak all the time, look at George W. Bush.

  3. By Ken Grandlund on May 13, 2008 | Reply

    I agree that it was likely an innocent gaffe- but then why delete it from the text posted on his site? He should have embraced it, poked fun at himself, and left it there. Why? because people aren’t perfect, and politicians who try to pretend they are are just plain silly.

    And this error in speaking changes nothing about how I think about Obama- I just felt that someone would bring it up here sooner or later, so why not hear it from someone who truly believes in the guy…

  4. By Lisa on May 13, 2008 | Reply

    I guess had McCain said 57 states he would be having a senior moment,no?
    Actually Obama was correct,there are 57 Islamic States.

  5. By rube cretin on May 13, 2008 | Reply

    Really man, this is not really relevant. everyone knows there are 61 states including the state of denial and several other delusional states in the demented American mind. I mean really who’s counting. Please don’t be so hard on our next president.

  6. By Craig R. Harmon on May 13, 2008 | Reply

    Actually, I believe that, earlier he had said that he’d been to 47 states with one more to go, excluding Hawaii and Alaska. What we have here is a simple mix up, I think that what happened was this: like us all, he knows that there are 50 states and he remembered correctly the seven from 47, which he had accurately stated some time earlier, arriving at 57+2+1=60.

    Or maybe he was thinking about ketchup (57 varieties). The connection would be easy to make. After all people in all 60 states like ketchup. ;-)

    So when will the first book of “Obamisms” appear at bookstores, do you suppose? :-)

  7. By Craig R. Harmon on May 13, 2008 | Reply

    On a more serious note, if President Obama is ever assassinated (God forbid!), it may not be by a racist “good ol’ boy’ striking a blow for white supremacy…it might be a militant Islamist executing someone he views to be an apostate.

    By the way, I know that Obama’s never actually held or practiced the Islamic faith but, it seems, it all depends upon what the definition of “Muslim” is. Obama never was a believer in or practitioner of the Islamic faith (and the word Muslim means something like one who subjects him-/herself to Allah, which Obama seems never to have done in any sense of the word) but culturally, he is recognized as a Muslim by virtue of having had a Muslim father (and the fact that his father had, by that time, become a self-professed atheist is irrelevant). If what this guy says is correct, the fact that his father was (or even that he had been) a Muslim MADE Obama a Muslim within the tenets of the Islamic faith and so, when, as an adult, he became a Christian, in the eyes of Islam, he became an apostate which means, at least in Islam, that no Muslim who kills Obama can be punished for doing so.

    Islam: Religion of Peace and Tolerance!

    If this is true, isn’t it kind of reckless of the New York Times to be making this widely known by publishing this on the web?

  8. By Craig R. Harmon on May 13, 2008 | Reply

    This is rather like in the Jewish religion, one born to a Jewish mother is, as I understand it, recognized, within Jewish culture, to be a Jew whether one identifies oneself as a Jew and practices the religion or not. I guess that in the Islamic faith, the same identity thing passes through the father.

    Of course, Jews are not known for cutting the heads off of Jews who convert from Judaism so it’s not quite the same thing.

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