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The Obama Gaffe Machine

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by ROCKET RICH NYC, May 30, 2008.

  1. ROCKET RICH NYC

    ROCKET RICH NYC Contributing Member

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    The Obama Gaffe Machine
    By JOHN FUND
    May 30, 2008

    For months, Barack Obama has had the image of an incandescent, golden-tongued Wundercandidate. That image may be fraying now.

    As smart and credentialed as he is, Sen. Obama is often an indifferent speaker without a teleprompter. He has large gaps in his knowledge base, and is just as likely to dig in and embrace a policy misstatement as abandon it. ABC reporter Jake Tapper calls him "a one-man gaffe machine."

    Take the Auschwitz flub, where Mr. Obama erroneously claimed last weekend in New Mexico that his uncle helped liberate the Nazi concentration camp. Reporters noted Mr. Obama's revised claim, that it was his great uncle who helped liberate Buchenwald. They largely downplayed the error. Yet in another, earlier gaffe back in 2002, Mr. Obama claimed his grandfather knew U.S. troops who liberated Auschwitz and Treblinka – even though only Russian troops entered those concentration camps.

    That hardly disqualifies Mr. Obama from being president. But you can bet that if Hillary Clinton had done the same thing it would have been the focus of much more attention, especially after her Bosnia sniper-fire fib. That's because gaffes are often blown up or downplayed based on whether or not they further a story line the media has attached to a politician.

    When John McCain claimed, while on a trip to Iraq in March, that Sunni (as opposed to Shiite) militants in Iraq are being supported by Iran, coverage of the alleged blunder tracked Democratic attacks on his age and stamina. (In fact, Iran may well be supplying both Sunni and Shiite militants.) Dan Quayle, tagged with a reputation as a dumb blond male, never lived down his misspelling of "potatoe."

    Mr. Obama, a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, has largely been given a pass for his gaffes. Many are trivial, such as his suggestion this month that America has 57 states, and his bizarre statement in a Memorial Day speech in New Mexico that America's "fallen heroes" were present and listening to him in the audience.

    Some gaffes involve mangling his family history. Last year in Selma, Ala., for example, he said that his birth was inspired by events there which took place four years after he was born. While this gaffe can be chalked up to fatigue or cloudy memory, others are more substantive – such as his denial last April that it was his handwriting on a questionnaire in which, as a state senate candidate, he favored a ban on handguns. His campaign now contends that, even if it was his handwriting, this doesn't prove he read the full questionnaire.

    Mr. Obama told a Portland, Ore., crowd this month that Iran doesn't "pose a serious threat to us," saying that "tiny countries" with small defense budgets aren't much to worry about. But Iran has almost one-fourth the population of the U.S. and is well on its way to developing nuclear weapons. The next day Mr. Obama had to reverse himself and declare he had "made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave."

    Last week in Orlando, Fla., he said he would meet with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez to discuss, among other issues, Chávez's support of the Marxist FARC guerrillas in Colombia. The next day, in Miami, he insisted any country supporting the FARC should suffer "regional isolation." Obama advisers were left explaining how this circle could be squared.

    In a debate last July, Mr. Obama pledged to meet, without precondition, the leaders of Iran, North Korea, Syria and Cuba. He called President Bush's refusal to meet with them "ridiculous" and a "disgrace."

    Heavily criticized, Mr. Obama dug in rather than backtrack. He's claimed, in defense of his position, that John F. Kennedy's 1961 summit with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna was a crucial meeting that led to the end of the Cold War.

    Not quite. Kennedy himself admitted he was unprepared for Khrushchev's bullying. "He beat the hell out of me," Kennedy confided to advisers. The Soviet leader reported to his Politburo that the American president was weak. Two months later, the Berlin Wall was erected and stood for 28 years.

    Reporters may now give Mr. Obama's many gaffes more notice. But don't count on them correcting an implicit bias in writing about such faux pas.

    Over the years, reporters have tagged a long list of conservative public figures, from Barry Goldwater to Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, as dim and uninformed. The reputation of some of these men has improved over time. But can anyone name a leading liberal figure who has developed a similar media reputation, even though the likes of Al Gore, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have committed substantial gaffes at times? No reporter I've talked to has come up with a solid example.

    It's clear some gaffes are considered more newsworthy than others. But it would behoove the media to check their premises when deciding just how much attention to pay to them. The best guideline might be: Show some restraint and judgment, but report them all.

    http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB121210923476431299.html
     
  2. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/eKgPY1adc0A&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/eKgPY1adc0A&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
     
  3. ROCKET RICH NYC

    ROCKET RICH NYC Contributing Member

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    Oh we all know Bush is a bumbling idiot. That's why we don't need ANOTHER one in Obama!
     
  4. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    The guy who believes someone who isn't a member of Obama's church, and didn't say anything racist, and isn't an Obama spiritual advisor is a BIG DEAL
    is calling the former President of Harvard Law Revue, Illinois state legislator, U.S. senator, and candidate for President a bumbling idiot?

    Interesting.
     
  5. HAYJON02

    HAYJON02 Contributing Member

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    I wish he were.
     
  6. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    does starting multiple threads on the same topic on which there are existing active threads, which one posts in, count as a gaffe? :confused:
     
  7. Classic

    Classic Member

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    You know, if I was in the spotlight 24/7 and every word I said was being recorded and scrutinized, I'm sure I'd make a mistake or two every so often. However in my opinion, the level of mistakes that he seems to make seem pretty trivial in comparison to other's.
     
  8. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    That's because you don't have a personal vendetta against him for some unknown reason.
     
  9. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    There is a known reason: RRNY was intimidated by Obama supporters at the Democratic caucus he infiltrated.
     
  10. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    its always funny to see a member of the media criticize the liberal media for not criticizing something said member is criticizing
     
  11. El_Conquistador

    El_Conquistador King of the D&D, The Legend, #1 Ranking
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    This happened all over the country. There is a reason Obama did better in cauci than in primaries -- and that reason is the public nature of the vote and intimidation/white guilt/social pressures which of course are more common amongst Dems. This doesn't even touch on the disenfranchisement issues associated with primaries (sick, elderly, out-of-towners, military stationed abroad, etc).
     
  12. ROCKET RICH NYC

    ROCKET RICH NYC Contributing Member

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    Initimidated? Ha! I stayed thruout the whole process almost til midnight and even became an alternate delegate. Obama supporters don't intimidate me at all.
     
  13. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    This idea of a gaffe is a pretty strong tool the media has in tearing down politicians. It seems if you don't like something a candidate says, you can call it a gaffe and the politician will not be able to manage an effective rebuttal. I think there are a couple examples here. I believe McCain objected that saying the Sunnis were getting help from Iran was not a gaffe, but was written off anyway. A number of the Obama examples cited here also don't sound like gaffes necessarily, but perhaps a failure of the reporter to try to understand -- such as the fallen heroes in the crowd, the assumed contradiction between "regional isolation" and talks with Hugo Chavez, and his insistence on meeting with the other dictators of the world. Many of these don't sound like gaffes at all, but if enough reporters call it a gaffe anyway the candidate can get Howard Deaned regardless.
     
  14. ROCKET RICH NYC

    ROCKET RICH NYC Contributing Member

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    Don't forget working families with young kids. Many people left early because they actually had to work the next day. Their own party continues to divide this country. The Democratic party is supposed to be the party of the people, the party that includes everyone, yet they won't even count the votes of Florida and Michigan. Yea you can say they violated the rules. So they held an election before Super Tuesday - whooppee. So by doing so, the Dems have to punish the people of two big states. Some party for the people. :rolleyes:
     
  15. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    [​IMG]
     
  16. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    /me applauds vigorously


    so simple, but so on the mark.

    well done Otto. :D
     
  17. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    I can see you feel as strongly about civil injustice as Trader_Jorge. He is a well known crusader for the disenfranchised and huddled masses also.

    In retribution, maybe Obama's name should be removed from the Florida and Michigan ballots during the general election.
     
  18. Jugdish

    Jugdish Member

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    Are you trying to say Moby Dick had white guilt?
     
  19. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    Saying there are 57 states is dumb, but it's a forgivable mistake in a long drawn out campaign. Same with the "fallen heroes" episode.

    Using Kennedy's meeting with Khrushchev as justification for meeting without preconditions with the leaders of Iran, North Korea, and Syria without having a clear understanding of history concerns me though. When folks(including me) label Obama as dumb and naive, this is what we're referring to.
     
  20. RocketRaccoon

    RocketRaccoon Contributing Member

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    Sorry, but anybody running for a government office better damn well know how many states there are and I don't care what the occasion is. It's comments like that that turns me off completely.

    I'm not busting on you count. I do agree with most of what you say. :D

    Its just that I have a very strong sense of nationalism, an unequaled belief in the USofA. And a gaffe like that should insult every American. Can you image kids in school saying, "well, the president didn't know how many states there are". GRRRRRRR
     

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