But first the freshman senator had to go through all the….
…obligatory delighted to see you, delighted to be here part of stump speeches that also require that you actually know where you are.
Obama pulled that off O.K. But then he drifted away from the text a tad, as rookies are wont to do sometimes, forgetting how exhausting this primary process is and should be. And trusting in their instincts, their very tired instincts.
“It is wonderful to be back in Oregon,” Obama said. “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. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it.”
The Times’ conscientious Robin Abcarian thought she heard something different there. She checked her tape recorder. It had captured what he had actually said — 57 states now. A new Louisiana Purchase that’s gone unannounced so far? Was he channeling his inner John Kerry-Heinz 57 personality?
(UPDATE: At a later stop Obama was talking with reporters and expressed concern he’d also mis-stated the number of potential cyclone victims in Burma. He said, “”I hope I said 100,000 people the first time instead of 100 million. I understand I said there were 57 states today. It’s a sign that my numeracy is getting a little, uh.” At that point, an aide cut him off and ushered journalists out. Before he could mis-speak again?)
Oh, and as far as Hawaii voters are concerned, they’re probably delighted to learn that Obama’s campaign staff doesn’t think that tiny state can justify an appearance by his eminence, even though he did a lot of growing up there. Or maybe because he was there.
Let’s see what they do with that in the Honolulu media, which the Republicans have probably already notifed.
Maybe it’s Obama’s age. He’s getting up there in his forties, you know.
Here’s the video:
He made these gaffes almost one year to the day after he claimed “10,000” had died from the Kansas tornadoes, when it was actually only 12.
John Hinderaker at Powerline points out that the media won’t even come close to treating their Golden Boy like they did Dan Quayle’s gaffes.
Or President Bush’s, for that matter.
Marc Ambinder correctly points out that if McCain had said any of this:
[…] the media would be all up in his grill, accusing him of a senior moment. Just saying….
Yup, but maybe just for laughs McCain should strike back at Obama’s accusation of him “losing his bearings” by referencing Obama’s flubs and suggesting that the inexperienced, rookie Senator from Illinois apparently isn’t getting in enough daily naps.
Tom Elia quips:
Personally, I don’t think it was a ‘tired mistake’ as much as this is just how Chicago Democrats are used to counting during elections and election campaigns…
Of course, there is another explanation beyond the steak sauce theory or the traditional lame excuse that he was “tired” (yeah, right, like Winston Churchill used that excuse) or that he’s “lost his bearings”: Barack Obama is an imperialist! His mistake was not in counting the states properly, but in failing to say that he wants to visit 57 states. And who doesn’t? Why didn’t he say that he wanted to bring back “manifest destiny” a little earlier in the campaign? That would have helped him with the Reagan Democrats. For sure.
I’d love to see someone come up with a bumper sticker design related to this. I’d display it proudly