If gaffe ma­chine Obama was a Repub­li­can . . .

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

All it takes is one gaffe to taint a Repub­li­can for life. The po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment never let Dan Quayle live down his fate­ful mis­spelling of “pota­toe.” The New York Times dis­torted and mis­re­ported the first Pres­i­dent Bush’s ques­tions about new scan­ner tech­nol­ogy at a gro­cers’ con­ven­tion to brand him per­ma­nently as out of touch.

But what about Barack Obama? The guy’s a per­pet­ual gaffe ma­chine. Let us count the ways, large and small, that his tongue has be­trayed him through­out the cam­paign:

Last May, he claimed that tor­na­does in Kansas killed a whop­ping 10,000 peo­ple: “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thou­sand peo­ple died — an en­tire town de­stroyed.” The ac­tual death toll: 12.

Ear­lier this month in Ore­gon, he re­drew the map of the United States: “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.”

Two weeks ago, in front of a roar­ing Sioux Falls, S.D., au­di­ence, Mr. Obama ex­ulted: “Thank you, Sioux City. [. . .] I said it wrong. I’ve been in Iowa for too long. I’m sorry.” Ex­plain­ing two weeks ago why he was trail­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton in Ken­tucky, Mr. Obama again botched ba­sic ge­og­ra­phy: “Sen. Clin­ton, I think, is much bet­ter known, com­ing from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it’s not sur­pris­ing that she would have an ad­van­tage in some of those states in the mid­dle.” On what map is Arkansas closer to Ken­tucky than Illi­nois?

Mr. Obama has as much trou­ble with num­bers as he has with maps. Last March, on the an­niver­sary of the Bloody Sun­day march in Selma, Ala., he claimed his par­ents united as a di­rect re­sult of the civil rights move­ment:

“There was some­thing stir­ring across the coun­try be­cause of what hap­pened in Selma, Ala., be­cause some folks are will­ing to march across a bridge. So they got to­gether and Barack Obama Jr. was born.”

Mr. Obama was born in 1961. The Selma march took place in 1965. His spokesman, Bill Bur­ton, later ex­plained that Mr. Obama was “speak­ing metaphor­i­cally about the civil rights move­ment as a whole.”

Ear­lier this month in Cape Gi­rardeau, Mo., Mr. Obama showed off his knowl­edge of the war in Afghanistan by hom­ing in on a lack of trans­la­tors: “We only have a cer­tain num­ber of them, and if they are all in Iraq, then it’s harder for us to use them in Afghanistan.” The real rea­son it’s “harder for us to use them” in Afghanistan: Iraqis speak Ara­bic or Kur­dish. The Afgha­nis speak Pashto, Farsi or other non-Ara­bic lan­guages.

Over the May 17-18 week­end in Ore­gon, Mr. Obama pleaded ig­no­rance of the decades-old, multi-bil­lion-dol­lar mas­sive Han­ford nu­clear waste cleanup:

“Here’s some­thing that you will rarely hear from a politi­cian, and that is that I’m not familiar with the Han­ford, uu­u­uhh, site, so I don’t know ex­actly what’s go­ing on there. (Ap­plause.) Now, hav­ing said that, I prom­ise you I’ll learn about it by the time I leave here on the ride back to the air­port.”

I as­sume on that ride, a staffer re­minded him that he’s voted on at least one de­fense au­tho­riza­tion bill that ad­dressed the “costs, sched­ules, and tech­ni­cal is­sues” deal­ing with the na­tion’s most con­tam­i­nated nu­clear waste site.

Last March, the Chicago Tri­bune re­ported this lit­tle-no­ticed nugget about a fake au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal de­tail in Mr. Obama’s “Dreams from My Fa­ther”:

“Then, there’s the copy of Life mag­a­zine that Obama presents as his racial awak­en­ing at age 9. In it, he wrote, was an ar­ti­cle and two ac­com­pa­ny­ing pho­to­graphs of an African-Amer­i­can man phys­i­cally and men­tally scarred by his ef­forts to lighten his skin. In fact, the Life ar­ti­cle and the pho­to­graphs don’t ex­ist, say the mag­a­zine’s own his­to­ri­ans.“

And in per­haps the most se­ri­ously trou­bling set of gaffes of them all, Mr. Obama told a Port­land crowd over the May 17-18 week­end that Iran doesn’t “pose a se­ri­ous threat to us” — clue­lessly ar­gu­ing that “tiny coun­tries” with small de­fense bud­gets can’t do us harm — and then promptly flip-flopped the next day, claim­ing, “I’ve made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave.”

Barack Obama — pro­moted by the Left and the me­dia as an al­l­know­ing, ar­tic­u­late, tran­scen­dent Mes­siah — is a walk­ing, talk­ing gaffe ma­chine. How many more passes does he get? How many more can we af­ford?

Michelle Malkin is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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