By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, July 24, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Media: The gaffes Barack Obama has committed would have crushed the typical Republican politician. But the reporters who can't get over Dan Quayle's misspelling of 'potato' have little to say about their man's slip-ups.
Sometimes it's hard to tell if Obama is really fouling up or simply puffed up when he tries to live up to his media-fed image as a leader ready for prime time.
Consider his claim during a news conference Wednesday in Israel that 'just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran.'
His committee? Obama isn't even a member of the Banking Committee, let alone its chairman. So was it a self-promoting lie or a misstep? Only he knows.
In other cases, however, it's clear the junior senator from Illinois has erred. It was Obama — and not a too-old-to-serve John McCain or a too-dopey-to-take-serious George W. Bush — who once said he'd visited 57 states, not including Alaska and Hawaii, and still had 'one left to go.'
It was also Obama who said Tuesday from Amman, Jordan: 'You know, it's always a bad practice to say 'always' or 'never' ' — a statement only Yogi Berra could fathom but which those aboard O-Force One seemed to regard as incontestably profound.
While the media have ensured that Obama's communication skills are now widely viewed to be impeccable, it's obvious that when the man doesn't have a teleprompter in front of him, he tends to mangle both facts and language.
How else to explain his 'Face The Nation' comment that the leaders he would meet in the Middle East and Europe are the ones 'who I expect to be dealing with over the next eight to 10 years'?
Had a Republican candidate said that, he'd have been suspected of some dark plan to shred the Constitution and institute martial law.
A few days later, Obama goofed again, asserting that 'Israel is a strong friend of Israel's.' Sure, he meant America is a good friend of Israel. And sure, he knows the difference. But he's also sure the media will cover his howlers even as they ridicule Republicans when they are just as 'inartful.'
Maybe the media kept quiet because they know Obama's no better when it comes to geography. Surely they noticed how he confused Sioux Falls, S.D., with Sioux City, Iowa, claimed that Arkansas is closer to Kentucky than to Illinois, and called Iran — with population bigger than France's and a land mass four times that of Germany — 'a tiny country.'
Even worse, he claimed Iran doesn't 'pose a serious threat to us,' then somehow recalled the next day that he has indeed 'made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave.'
Could it be that Obama is even worse with figures? It was in the spring of 2007, long before he could blame campaign fatigue for causing him to stumble, when he reckoned that tornadoes had killed 10,000 people in Kansas even though the real number was 12.
Obama's tendency to lapse into some rainbow world has apparently infected his staff. In discussing Obama's Berlin speech, a senior adviser first promised 'it's not going to be a political speech.' But then he added: 'When the president of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.'
The staffer had to be reminded: Obama isn't president — yet.
Or does that kind of thinking — that his coronation is a mere formality — start at the top? Earlier this month, it was Obama himself who reminisced about a time 'when I was a United States senator.'
Space won't allow a full list of Obama's blunders to date. But somehow we get the feeling we haven't heard the last of them.