Barack Obama is back again, this time as a surrogate for the Democrats in the midterms. Considering that the Democrats don’t particularly have anyone exciting this cycle aside from a 28-year-old gaffe-prone self-described socialist, this is probably not a bad thing for the left.
Another remnant of the past is the uncritical eye with which he’s been viewed. Pretty much every speech he’s given has been treated like it’s some sort of gospel truth, bequeathed to us on high by the unsullied president of presidents, your forever leader.
Apparently, nobody remembers his mistakes, the same way nobody forgets the current president’s.
The president, remembers, though:
“When President Obama said that he has been to ’57 States,’ very little mention in Fake News Media,” Trump tweeted Friday.
“Can you imagine if I said that…story of the year!”
When President Obama said that he has been to “57 States,” very little mention in Fake News Media. Can you imagine if I said that…story of the year! @IngrahamAngle
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2018
Trump also tagged Fox News host Laura Ingraham in the tweet; Ingraham has featured the infamous Obama remark on her show recently, according to The Hill.
The gaffe in question, perhaps Obama’s most famous, came in 2008 during a campaign visit to Beaverton, Oregon.
“It is wonderful to be back in Oregon,” Obama told the audience.
“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. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it.”
Obama copped to the fact that he was numerically challenged after the rally, when he noted he thought he had also misstated the number of victims of a cyclone in Burma.
“I hope I said 100,000 people the first time instead of 100 million,” Obama told reporters.
“I understand I said there were 57 states today. It’s a sign that my numeracy is getting a little, uh.”
Yes, yes it could. Of course, Donald Trump Jr. had his own answer to why the gaffe took place:
In Obama’s defense he’s probably including The Deep State, the Islamic State, etc etc… so I’ll let that one slide. ?????? https://t.co/kjbWvualoA
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 15, 2018
In all fairness, people are allowed to make mistakes, although I’d prefer the president of the United States to consistently be able to name the number of states there are. It’s not a particularly difficult hurdle, as far as I’m concerned.
However, when it comes to how we treat the legacy of presidents, I think we ought to realize that the Obama years weren’t the halcyon era that he paints them as. The media is complicit, too, presenting his words without so much as a cursory fact check while insisting that every word uttered by a member of the Trump administration is parsed several times over.
Perhaps it’s time we started remembering Obama’s mistakes the same way we remember Trump’s.
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