May 9, 2007

The Rest Were Pledged

When evaluating leadership, people usually value two traits the most -- getting the facts straight and remaining calm enough to absorb them. Barack Obama failed in both yesterday, as he used the Kansas tornadoes as a talking point on the campaign trail and informed the audience that 10,000 people had died in them( via QandO):

Barack Obama, caught up in the fervor of a campaign speech Tuesday, drastically overstated the Kansas tornadoes death toll, saying 10,000 had died. The death toll was 12.

"In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died - an entire town destroyed," the Democratic presidential candidate said in a speech to 500 people packed into a sweltering Richmond art studio for a fundraiser.

His campaign manager later said that Obama had meant "at least ten". Well, why not just get the facts straight and say twelve? That was the correct answer, and it's certainly on a far smaller scale than ten thousand people. The latter would have been more than three times the losses on 9/11.

Obama then proceeded to gaffe #2, although in his defense, he got help on this one from Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius:

"Turns out that the National Guard in Kansas only had 40 percent of its equipment and they are having to slow down the recovery process in Kansas," Obama said, his shirt sleeves rolled up and his head glistening with sweat.

That's also wrong. Kansas had 88 percent of its National Guard forces available, and over 60 percent of its Army Guard equipment, and 85 percent of its Air Guard equipment. By yesterday, Sibelius had already backpedaled, saying that the Guard had responded adequately to the disaster and that recovery had not slowed down. It turns out that she wanted to make a point about the Iraq War and how it takes resources away from the states.

In other words, she wanted to play politics with the Kansas tornado disaster. Obama played along with her, and both of them look like hysterics today. Neither one shows those two important qualities of leadership. Kansas can't do much about Sibelius today, but American voters can do something about Barack Obama. They can give him about 12 votes, and he can go home thinking he received 10,000.


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» Obama Gets Away with Misspeaking; Doesn’t Get Bush Treatment from The American Mind
Sen. Barack Obama claimed 10,000 people died in a recent tornado in Kansas. He was off by 9988. It wasn’t Obama stumbling over his words, mangling syllables, or getting tongue-tied. He clearly said something wrong. Can we start the meme that Obam... [Read More]

» An Honest Mistake? from Iowa Voice
I don’t know…10,000 as opposed to 12? That seems like one helluva gaffe: ... [Read More]

Comments (14)

Posted by Rob D [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 8:02 AM

NYT today:

"In Kansas, the National Guard is operating with 40 percent to 50 percent of its vehicles and heavy machinery, local Guard officials said. Ordinarily, the Guard would have about 660 Humvees and more than 30 large trucks to traverse difficult terrain and transport heavy equipment. When the tornado struck, the Guard had about 350 Humvees and 15 large trucks, said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the state’s adjutant general. The Guard would also usually have 170 medium-scale tactical vehicles used to transport people and supplies — but now it has fewer than 30, he said. On the other hand, General Bunting said, it had more cargo trucks than it needed."

Posted by AnonymousDrivel [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 8:07 AM

A new bumper sticker for the Democrat Party:

"Storming on the winds of Katrina since August of 2005"

Posted by DaveR [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 8:10 AM

Hey, give the Obamassiah a break... he was probably just confusing the death toll in Kansas with the 10,000 people who died in hurricane Katrina. The ones stacked in the freezers.

What is it with Democrat Governors, anyway? Shouldn't they come with some kind of warning label?

"Warning - May not Function in Event of Emergency."

Posted by onlineanalyst [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 8:11 AM

Shades of Katrina! What is it with the "magic negro" number of 10,000 bloated corpses? Will the media perpetuate the governor's and Obama's sound bites as part of the historical/hysterical template?

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 8:33 AM

Obama and Sibelius should make accurate statements?? The Universe might get knocked out of balance if Democrats actually started telling the truth! Better not risk it.

Next thing you will tell us is that Democrats should act in the best interests of the country!

Posted by krm [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 8:40 AM

As the party of post-modernists, the Donks believe that there is no such thing as objective truth. If it "feels" true for you then it is true for you. And thus we see crap like this all the time and their constituents eat it up insteadof making them pay for it.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 9:46 AM

As George W. Bush has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt, mispeaking and getting facts wrong does not prohibit one from being elected president.

Posted by DaveR [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 11:07 AM

"As George W. Bush has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt, mispeaking and getting facts wrong does not prohibit one from being elected president."

Precisely. And now let's wait for the derisive remarks on all the talk shows, the vicious charicatures in newspaper cartoons, and snarky comments in NYT op-eds about this faux pas.................

Posted by Achillea [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 11:23 AM

No no no, you see, it's a hoax that bespeaks a reality.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 11:33 AM


Does your health care cover that media bias crutch?

Posted by Achillea [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 11:47 AM

the 10,000 people who died in hurricane Katrina. The ones stacked in the freezers.

No need to stack them in freezers. They were all cannibalized in a big barbecue in the SuperDome that's sure to feature in Michael Moore's next crockumentary.

Posted by georgfelis [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 12:28 PM

The root of the problem is the double-standard applied by the press. The fact is that a Democrat making an overblown statement blaming a Republican will not receive any fraction of the press criticism as if it were the other way around. The rough timeline of the Kansas tornado coverage seemed to go as follows:
1) Democrat Governor Kathleen Sebelius and other Kansas Democrats get on NPR with three talking-points “The locals did an amazing job getting everybody under cover, the locals are working very hard on cleanup and recovery, and the Kansas National Guard will not be able to help as much as we want because most of their people and equipment are in Iraq, boo, hoo.”
2) The last talking point is modified to “The Kansas National Guard is responding as best it can and only has a few equipment shortages that the Feds have still not supplied.”
3) Modified again, after Brownback showed how wrong she was. “Well, we have enough people and equipment for *this* disaster, but if we get hit by *another* tornado, well, harrumph, harrumph”
4) Present: “The recovery is going well, thanks to the unending efforts of Democrat Governor Sebelius to ensure our National Guard received the equipment that was promised.”

She has been a complete disaster as Governor, proposing a tax increase for every single problem encountered, and I really wish Brownback would serve a couple terms as Kansas Governor before running for President. Thank goodness we have a Republican legislature.

Posted by Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 1:07 PM

Give the kid a break. At least he admitted later that the number wasn't that large (after he realized he was being taped.) And besides, if W hadn't repealed that Kyoto treaty there wouldn't have been a tornado to begin with, right? I added an excerpt and link to my 2007.05.09 Decision '08 // Dem Stupidity Roundup.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 7:46 PM

wow, reading comments from the republicans on this site just confirms why they got the behinds kicked in 06. Keep drinking the kool-aid goopers, and get ready to lose some more house and senate seats in 08, you dingdongs are clueless.