Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'll take your guy's gaffe and raise you one

We've had dueling stories of Obama gaffes and McCain gaffes. There are some gaffes that we can just assume that the guy was tired and misspoke. I'd put Obama's 57 states and McCain's references to Czechoslovakia or calling Putin the President of Germany in that category. These guys are working tremendously long days and they have to be worried about misspeaking every moment of the day. We all misspeak.

Then there are historical and geographical mistakes that are a bit more disappointing. Obama talking about the "bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor" or his grandfather helping to liberate Auschwitz. He talked about Arabic speakers in Afghanistan. And Obama talked about being willing to talk to our enemies like Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy did as if he just didn't know that Roosevelt and Truman talked to Stalin when he was our ally, and that Kennedy's meeting with Khrushchev was a disaster that led directly to the Soviet Union thinking they could get away with placing missiles in Cuba. That historical mistake was pretty disturbing.

And John McCain has had his own share of geographic blunders, referring to the Iraq-Pakistan border and mixing up Sunni and Shiite as well as Somalia and the Sudan. Ouch.

The liberal blogosphere has latched onto all the McCain mistakes just as conservatives have pointed out the Obama errors. Then they both complain that the other guy is getting a free ride from the media.

Both Politico and Howard Kurtz ran almost identical stories this week looking at all the gaffes and verbal flubs that McCain has made. The McCain campaign answers that their guy is speaking so much more off the cuff than Obama and so it's not surprising that he'd make some mistakes. But, as both the Politico and Kurtz point out, there is a danger that McCain's flubs will play into a storyline that his mistakes are a result of his age and he's just too old to be president.

Fortunately for McCain, Obama will keep us supplied with a steady supply of gaffes to balance out McCain flubs. John Hinderaker points out another one that The One made today when he referred to the Senate Banking Committee as his committee.
Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. 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, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon.
The only problem is that Barack Obama is not on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. I'm not sure how Obama explains that one away. No matter how tired a senator is, he should know which committees he's on. But then, I guess Obama has been in the Senate so rarely that maybe he just forgot. Or maybe it's like his evaluation of the Foreign Relations Committee, Obama just took a look at the membership on the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and decided that he knew as much as any of them so it's just as if he was on the committee. Just don't count that as a Bidenesque appropriation of a new biography or a sign of age.