Yes, every public figure is caught at some time or another doing something that causes people to question their intelligence. As presidents go, we had Gerald Ford, who was never elected but won the presidency by default when President Nixon resigned after he’d been appointed to replace Spiro T. Agnew. President Ford was probably best known for tripping, falling and bumping his head on airplane portals. When he wasn’t hurting himself he could be seen bouncing a golf ball off the head of an unsuspecting and inattentive fan with an errant drive.
George H.W. Bush of course is famous for his “Read my lips, no new taxes”. Shortly after being sworn into office he began raising taxes on Medicare, income, capital gains and gasoline. He claimed the new taxes and tax increases were necessary to balance the budget. In spite of his renown for use of the “veto pen” the national debt rose by 41.5% and per capita obligation increased by 37% due to deficit spending.
President Clinton, who succeeded Bush will always be known for lying to a Grand Jury and his ever famous “Now I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again, I…did…not…have…sexual…relations with that woman…Ms Lewinski. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never. These allegations are false, and I need to go back to work for the American people.” His supporters found this to be undeniable truth from the President. Well, until the semen stained blue dress turned up.
George W. Bush had his stumbling and bumbling with words like “nuculer” which in eight years he never got right. He is also quoted for saying:
“Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.” and, “I am mindful of the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them.”
Unless there is a well scripted Teleprompter in front of him, Obama seems to say the wrong things more often than not. The most recent happened last Thursday Aug. 19, 2010.
“What we’ve been trying to do is to build infrastructure that puts people back to work but also improves the quality of life in communities like Columbus,” Obama said in his remarks. “So Joe is an architect, and he’s now working on a new police station that was funded in part with Recovery Act funds.” The problems here are that federal money was used, but not Stimulus (or Recovery Act) funds and that the project is not a new police station; it is the renovation of a warehouse that will become the city’s police crime lab and property room. This was a blatant attempt to take credit for something in which he had no hand.
That was the most recent but I have pulled some others from the archives to share in case some might have been forgotten.
I’m sure everybody remembers the Gates / Crowley incident where the police “acted stupidly”. “I don’t know – not having been there and not seeing all the facts – what role race played in that, but I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,” Obama said in response to a question from the Chicago Sun-Times’s Lynn Sweet. Obama admits that he doesn’t have enough information to make a judgment call, yet he does. Why? It could possibly be that Prof. Gates is black and an acquaintance of the President and officer Crowley is white.
Then, when he had all the facts about the Fort Hood massacre he advised, “We don’t know all the answers yet. And I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts”, said the President in a statement he delivered from the Rose Garden.
Yet the facts were in. A Muslim shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he is killing and wounding unarmed American soldiers on a military base in the U.S. is enough fact for anybody other than someone trying to protect blacks and Muslims.
Regarding health care he said, “The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system”. Of course, this is true. He just shouldn’t have blown his cover.
“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 way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don’t obtain a nuclear weapon.” July 23, 2008. The problem here is that Obama was not on the Senate Banking Committee. Again attempting to take credit where no credit is due.
“What I was suggesting — you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith…” George Stephanopoulos corrected his wording to “Christian faith” during the interview.
“In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.” 2007 campaign speech on a Kansas tornado that killed 12 people.
He really wanted to be president of all the states and then some. “I’ve now been in 57 states…I think one left to go. One left to go, Alaska and Hawaii I really wanted to go to but my staff would not justify it.” Obama 2008 campaign event, Beaverton, OR
Protocol isn’t his strong suit either. He bows to world leaders who once respected, perhaps not liked but respected, the United States. Going one step beyond, he acquiesced to New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie. Not wanting to leave any body in the food chain out in the cold, he then showed his humble respect to Pam Iorio, the Mayor of Tampa, FL.
On the campaign trail and only 18 months in office and Obama has, with his gaffes and oopsies, made even George W. Bush (the former laughing stock) look brilliant.