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Another Obama Gaffe?

Today in Reading, PA, Obama told his audience that John McCain would be a better President than George W. Bush.

You have a real choice in this election. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain,” Obama said to cheers from a rowdy crowd in central Pennsylvania. Then he said: “And all three of us would be better than George Bush.

Honestly, is this guy for real? He praises Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, he claims that people in the Midwest lost jobs during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and now he’s telling voters that even if McCain wins in November, don’t worry, he won’t be as bad as Bush. Seems like a Freudian slip to me. I suspect that Dr. Freud would agree with me that Obama was simply revealing his real feelings.

Obama was trying to argue that he is the better choice over Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton in Tuesday’s primary in Pennsylvania. But the Illinois senator ended up mixing in praise for McCain at the same time.

The comment threatened to undercut Obama’s efforts — and those of the entire Democratic Party — to portray the GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting as nothing more than an extension of Bush’s unpopular tenure. At the very least, it provides fodder Republicans can use to prop up McCain.

Meanwhile, in a diner in Bethlehem, PA, Hillary Clinton said there is no conflict between what she said at the debate–the Obama could beat McCain, and her previous claims that Obama would struggle in the face of Republican attacks.

Today, she said, “He can be elected. I WILL be elected.”

“There is a difference,” the New York senator said. “Look at the electoral map: I’ve carried states that a Democrat must have to win. Anything is possible, but I am more likely” to gain the White House against McCain.

Not to mention the important states of Florida and Michigan which must be counted. As Riverdaughter has repeatedly explained, unless those two states are counted, the votes for Clinton in other large states like NY, NJ, and MA will not be fairly represented either. And speaking of MA and our trio of Obamadroid superdelegates, Kerry, Kennedy, and Patrick have been getting an earful from female Democratic activists who want FL and MI delegates to be seated at the convention and their votes counted meaninfully.

“We supported all three over the years because we believed each of them to be committed to the core basic democratic principle of having every vote count,” said Lois Pines, a former state senator and longtime Democratic activist. “. . . Is it really possible they are going to let such an injustice stand and no one is going to make this right?”

Hey Conflucians! What are you guys hearing? Or are you outside enjoying the nice weather? I’m getting excited about Tuesday. I think Hillary is going to win big! What are your predictions?

53 Responses

  1. Sounds like more like a fraudian slip.

  2. Uh…haven’t the Obamabots done nothing but wail and cry when Hilary had some nice things to say about McCain’s military backgroun? Isn’t that why she is supposed to be excommunicated from the Democratic Party? Of course, we wait anxiously for the W.O.R.M.

    If they don’t want to count Florida and Michigan, they may as well kiss the election goodbye, especially Florida. I don’t see any way possible for Obama to carry Florida under any rational circumstances at this time.

  3. Clydesplace–

    You’re acting as if the Obamadroids should make sense. Of course Hillary is a monster and a witch because she said something nice about McCain. Duh! But when Obama praised Reagan and George Bush, Sr., he was just being postpartisan or something. Now it sounds like he’s telling his fans, “Don’t worry, I’ll probably lose, but McCain will be all right.” Who knows if anyone will talk about this on the Obama blogz? Since I don’t read them, I probably won’t find out.

    BTW, did anyone see the latest Bill Maher? He interviewed Tweety and had the proprietor of the big orange place on the panel. I watched some of it on youtube.

  4. HBO is forcing Maher to apologize for dissing the Pope and the Catholic Church. However, it’s okay to be a misogynist and not okay to slam the Pope and the Church for protecting and enabling priests who molested children. Does that surprise any women out there?

  5. If he gets the nomination without counting the votes I think there should be a groundswell to take place for the establishment of a party based on the female voter. Emily’s List is one thing but I am talking about a party that honors, promotes, defends, and upholds the female voter in the next election. I know it is a longshot but as I run in and out of other blogs just looking for our voices to ring out I am convinced that this election has clearly demonstrated the need to protect us against the rampant sexism that we has been perpetuated against a female candidate. The DNC needs to be put on notice that no amount of pussy footing or seduction is going to convince us to cast our votes for a party or a candidate who appears to be indifferent to our place at the table.

  6. Connie,

    You’re kidding. I didn’t watch the whole show. Didn’t the Pope himself admit that protecting pedophile priests was wrong? I admit I didn’t listen to anything the Pope said either. I’m a recovering Catholic and try to avoid such things.

  7. myiq – Indeed!

  8. Chris Matthews drives vastleft to a rarely recorded level of shrillness:

    Irony Lives: Chris Matthews Says Hillary Has Been Tough On The Media

    I’m trying to get through this week’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” but the interview with Chris Matthews made me start mainlining Maalox… and that was before Lord Kos showed up and convinced me that life is not worth living.

    I can’t find video of the Matthews interview on HBO’s website, but I’m sure the segment will be prominently featured in the Museum of Shit, provided that they can build a large enough room for it.

    I found the offending video.

    Warning: Vomit bucket alert. Lots of puke inducing creatures.

  9. Pat,

    I agree. The treatment of Hillary during this primary campaign has really been a wake up call for a lot of women. I still don’t think Obama will get the nomination though. There have to be plenty of superdelegates who didn’t drink the kool-aide. After all, more are supporting Hillary than Barack at the moment. Some of them must want to win the general election, and Obama cannot win. He has no chance.

  10. @#%$ ^*(( ^&* %^&(*!!!

    Kill this McCain > Bush meme. Kill it now. McCain is Bush, but crazy. McCain makes Bush look like Bush-lite.

  11. Saying McCain is better than Bush is like saying gonorhea is better than syphilis

  12. PatJohnson — At the shakesville blog (which is in the blogroll at right), Melissa sometime back talked about the possibility of a progressive women’s party. I would certainly like to see this, and wish Emily’s List, together with prominent female bloggers (hint, hint, RD and TM) would consider something like this if Obama should get the nomination.

    Obama’s one talent seems to be detecting and exploiting weaknesses in other people. He certainly has tapped into a huge vein of misogyny in the little boy bloggers and the Democratic Party itself. I have been shocked at the verbal abuse and scorn that has been heaped on Hillary Clinton and women in general by Obama followers. Even though I think people are beginning to wake up to his shortcomings and do not believe he will ultimately get the nomination, something needs to be done within the Party to insure that never again is a group attacked, ridiculed and belittled simply because of gender or any other status. Howard Dean and Donna Brazile should be cringing in shame at the disgraceful way their candidate has conducted his campaign.

  13. MABlue–

    Did you watch the Tweety interview? Can you believe that Matthews said that it’s “propaganda” to say that he’s sexist?

  14. We need to get our story straight. Obviously some people here *do* think McCain would be better than bush, because they sain in this very foum that they would tolerate a McCain presidency rather than support Obama if he were to win the Democratic nomination. Presumably they wouldn’t prefer Bush to Obama, so…

  15. bostonboomer: I so hope you are correct in that statement that he will not be the nominee. He is an untested pol. However, that cult of personality is pretty strong out there. Tuesday cannot come soon enough for me. I want to see her standing there with a big victory smile on her face.

    MessyMarcy: I am dead serious. I would do anything on a grass roots level to get that off the ground from where I am. Should Hillary win the nomination, I am positive that she will win the whole enchillada because McBush is beatable.

    I really appreciate this blog and others like it for the insight, intellect, the camraderie, and most of all the humor. Some of the comments make me laugh out loud and it is a pleasure to be able to pop into a blog that shows the respect that this one has. I learn so much from all of you and just hope that Hillary can take some measure of comfort that her candidacy has given us.

  16. bostonboomer: Martha Wainwright has just the song for Tweety. http://youtube.com/watch?v=X0NRA4EuP6o

  17. RichinPA,

    Nobody here at this blog is running for President, and I don’t think we all have the same opinions about McCain. Do you think it was helpful for Obama to say that or not? I say not.

    I don’t think I would be able to bring myself to vote for Obama, but I’d never vote for McCain or any other Republican. I think it is easier to make that decision if you don’t live in a swing state. I live in MA, and if Obama were losing MA, he would probably be headed for a 49 state landslide loss. Therefore, if I write in Hillary in the general, it probably won’t have any effect except to make me respect myself more.

  18. I think it was an unbelievably wrong and inept thing to say!

    afaik a fundamental part of the plan coming from the Dem side is that McSame is just going to be four more years of George W Bush. No way our candidate can say McCain is better, esp in such a vague, ambiguous way that could easily be interpreted as.. McCain is a LOT better than Bush, and we’re only a LITTLE better than McCain, so.. eh, whatever, voters. Completely shoots us in the foot strategicially imho. Is Obama even a Democrat?

  19. This is a must read.

    Susie Madrak takes us back to a terrific piece written by uberprogressive David Sirota in December 2006. You could write the exact piece today:

    The Ridiculousness & Danger That Is Obama ’08

    Here are some interesting quotes:

    For progressives, this situation is perilous indeed. Obama is a candidate who has kept his record deliberately thin, who has risked almost nothing for the bigger movement, and in fact who has sometimes gone out of his way to reinforce dishonest stereotypes about the left. This is a man who has helped launch the Hamilton Project designed to undermine Democrats pushing for fairer trade deals. This is a man who belittled Paul Wellstone as merely a “gadfly.” This is a man who refused to lift a finger for Ned Lamont. Flocking to a candidate like that without demanding that he change only reinforces the damaging concept that our movement is a Seinfeld Movement about nothing.


    I want to be clear: I don’t think our movement is a Seinfeld Movement. But don’t fool yourself: a movement that rushes to embrace a candidate without demanding that candidate actually lead on the issues that the movement is supposed to be about – well, that could be a death blow for what we are working toward. Movements move because leaders lead and because they weild power by forcing politicians to stand up for people. Movements are killed by false prophets, cults of personality and by the unwillingness of those in the movement to weild their power for their agenda.

    Look, I’m willing to admit that maybe it’s true: maybe in this age of cynicism where people have completely given up on the idea that government can do anything, all the country really wants is a great orator who nebulously “connects” – a talk show host President who makes us feel good when he’s on TV, even as he refuses to use his power to actually change anything. But I think now, more than ever, people are looking for a conviction politician – someone who has either done something, or at least used their platform to try to do something through raising taboo issues.

    I think everybody who consider himself a progressive should read this piece.
    It’s scary.

  20. This guy is a neophyte. It seems like every few days he is “flaming up” and then spends several days putting out the fires.

    This is what he will do as President.

    This is why experiance matters!

  21. It’s 9pm, did you light your candle for Hillary!!!

  22. Way to blow the millions spent on the “McSame” 527 ads,
    Obama. Good job destroying the entire GE strategy of
    tying McCain to Bush. Now they can just show you saying

    I hope this spreads like wildfire!

  23. I did light a candle! is this a new thing – I only just heard about it today but r read about it on several blogs.

    I don’t know if it will help, but it certainly won’t hurt, and I like the solidarity aspect of it.

    I even lit mine at 9pm eastern and I don’t live in the eastern time zone. but that’s where the white house is 🙂

  24. The McSame election message is a good one for any Dem—all the way downticket. So much so, that on Snuffaluffagus, Sen. McCain was running the “I’m that maverick fella” message to separate himself from Pres. Bush.

    Sen. Obama now went so far off message, it may be very difficult for HIM to use it. Okay, he can’t use it anymore without looking not very bright.

    Won’t be difficult for Sen. Clinton to smash home. Her response, IMO, was definitely on message and strong.

    She differentiated herself from both men.

    But could it have been on purpose? I wonder if we’ll be hearing Hillary Clinton = Bush/Cheney lite again.

  25. I think I’ll stop calling them Obamabots and start calling them Obamadroids. Thanks bostonboomer!

  26. The blogosphere will be especially ugly Tuesday nite and the next couple of days after PA.

    Remember how the Boiz acted after the March 4th primaries? This will be worse, because Obama’s gonna get whupped and there won’t be any caucuses to win.

  27. Anyone heard about the rally in DC on April 30 in support of counting Florida’s votes? Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-Fla) was in NC this weekend*, and mentioned it to the volunteers here. I don’t have any more details, but we will definitely organize a ragtag team to go to DC.

    If anyone else is going or hears more info, give me a shout out at ncpublicservant@gmail.com

    * She was also with Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-NY), both members of the Congressional Black Caucus. But the best person that also visited was actress Erika Anderson. I know she’s married…but after meeting her, I now want to have her babies…she is a spitfire!

  28. I’ll give Obama a pass on the merits: it’s likely the Unitary McCain would be better than the Unitary Bush.

    On the politics, it looks like a gaffe — detracting from both his Change theme and his claim that Hillary represents the status quo.

    On the other hand, it may be a carefully calculated dog whistle to McCain-leaning factions of the potential primary vote in PA, IN, NC, etc.

    As for my preferences, I’m leaning McCain over Obama, and (in a purely hypothetical matchup) Bush over Obama.

    McCain (or Bush) could hurt the country and the planet some more in the next four years, along very familiar lines.

    Neither Obama nor McCain shows prospect of doing much about the damage Bush has already done, but only Obama can do multi-generational catastrophic damage to the Democratic/progressive alliance.

    If any third-party candidate emerges with sufficient strength in enough states (1?) to throw it into the House, that would be my first choice. [This conclusion probably holds even if HRC takes the nomination, since the Obamite reaction would be unacceptably destructive.]

  29. Hillary responded to the Obama whoopsie. BTD has the a link to the audio.


  30. I’ve been reading but not commenting. I am in awe of all you Conflucians. This morning I had a thought (probably not a new one at this blog) that BO is doing the same thing that the Rethugs and their MSM have been doing for the last 7+ years. He is using the passive voice to “apologize”. He takes no responsibility for making a mistake or insulting. Today I heard a report and audio in which he said “I apologize if what I said was garbled” (or mangled or whatever).

    It was as if someone else garbled (or mangled or whatever) his words AFTER they left his mouth. Darn, I’d love to meet that person so we could find out What
    Obama Really Said.

    To Pat Johnson, on April 20th, 2008 at 8:19 pm ~ I agree completely with your eval of this blog.

  31. Last SUSA PA poll out:

    Hillary: 53
    Obama: 41

    Last poll had 54-40 and the change could be statistical noise. Go PA for Hillary!!!


  32. There are two ways to interpret Obama’s record media buy in PA for the final two days – either he sees it close enough to win and he’s going for it, or their internal polls show her with the momentum toward a blowout, and he’s trying to stop the bleeding to hang onto his delegate edge.

    I think it’s a band-aid. I’m going with the blowout: Hillary by 13.

  33. Wow, I guess I’m psychic. I didn’t see those SUSA numbers!

  34. I lit 3 candles and burned them for an hour.
    Nothing Obama says surprises me anymore. I knew all along that the longer Hillary held out and kept going, he’d have to slip up and show everyone what he’s really all about.

  35. False Alarm everyone! BTD at Talk Left made a mistake and posted an old SUSA poll. Last SUSA poll should be out tomorrow then.


  36. Freudian slip is right — Obama believes it. His m.o. is that Hillary NOT win. I think he was telling his supporters that if Hillary gets the nomination that it is ok for them to vote for McCain. The fact is, McCain will be just as bad as Bush, not “better.” To undercut the entire “McCain = 3rd Bush term” that the Dems have going for them is political suicide. But, I’m not that surprised — Obama has showed repeatedly that he likes Republicans better then Democrats.

  37. Got this from a Taylor Marsh blogger.

    DNC Cash on Hand: $5.3 million

    RNC Cash on Hand: $31 million


  38. I’ll send the DNC some money when they count Florida.

  39. Me, too. Thanks tabby.

    Candles? Didn’t get the memo on that, but will dig some out!

  40. The DNC is so totally screwed up. So much for what Dean, and Brazile have done.

    We need Florida to count. Please download this and respond/mail. This will be especially important to Hillary’s delegate count.


  41. Me, too. Thanks tabby.

    Candles? Didn’t get the memo on that, but will dig some out!

  42. Interesting points made by Michelle Norris (sp?)/NPR on MTP this morning, many of the remaining uncommitted superdelegates are first termers – freshmen and as such are very reluctant to commit until a clear nominee is defined. They don’t want to back the wrong person and have the decision affect their term and possible re election. Sounds like this may very well go to Denver just like Hillary says.

    Also, the panel discussed Hillary’s “secret weapon” Harold Ickes. He was described as knowing all the intricacies of the convention rules including the credentials committee, he may have insight into a scenario we aren’t privy to. E.J. Dionne said Icke’s foes call him “nuclear.” This gives me a lot of comfort.

  43. http://tinyurl.com/4loqky
    Part II: Obama’s Adviser David L. Boren–How He Screwed Us Long-term in 1993 re: Energy and More

    Please check out Part II about Obama’s adviser…how he was key in the destruction of Clinton/Gore’s longterm energy plan which was part of the 1993 budget…

    Excellent NY TImes articles cited which are still available on the internet.

    Hard to trust Obama on energy after reading this…

  44. Joley Buttafucco would probably be better than GW Bush.

    At least Joey is competent at fixing cars. Bush was a serial faiure at everything he has ever done,

  45. […] make in that Obama complimenting McCain now and then is not a bad thing), Lance Mannion, The Confluence and Redstate Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can […]

  46. Hmmmm, do you think he might be trying to cover his ass for an even bigger slip up regarding John McCain?

  47. riverdaughter,

    Please explain. What bigger slip up do you mean? How did it go on the ground in PA yesterday? What is your intuition about the results on Tuesday night?

  48. Charles, That’s a great piece. I left a comment there.

    {{BostonBoomer}} It’s one thing after another this spring. I woke up with food poisoning (or flu) on Friday morning and was violently ill through Saturday. After that, I stayed pretty much off like. I checked in once in a while to see if there were any polls or outrageous events, but really didn’t have any energy for so much as a comment.

    I’m much better now (although still terrified of food) and have lost 8 pounds — so there’s a good side to everything!

  49. Obama also gave an interview to the Philadelphia Enquirer and another Philly paper in which he refused to stand by a promise to use the government campaign money if he’s the nominee. He has said that if McCain took that money (meaning they could not fundraise) then he, Obama, would too. But now it turns out that Obama says the internet is a parallel universe where the American people express their wishes and fund campaigns. The Enquirer feigned shock that Obama would reneg on his promise but they also said that he was living in a “parallel universe” if he didn’t get the difference between the taxpayer campaign money and what he wanted to do, which was actually just old fashioned fundraising. As they said, this is “old” politics, not new.

  50. Hillary to appear on BOTH Keith’s Countdown at 8pm and Larry King at 9pm tonight. The KO interview should be interesting!

  51. Well, at least Barry has given me an excuse to vote for McCain should Barry win (read: steal) the nomination.

    He says McCain will be better than Bush. I can’t say the same about Barry.

  52. […] Another Obama Gaffe? (by bostonboomer at The Confluence) [Sunday] in Reading, PA, Obama told his audience that John McCain would be a better President than George W. Bush. “You have a real choice in this election. Either Democrat would be better than John McCain,” Obama said to cheers from a rowdy crowd in central Pennsylvania. Then he said: “And all three of us would be better than George Bush.” Honestly, is this guy for real? He praises Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, he claims that people in the Midwest lost jobs during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and now he’s telling voters that even if McCain wins in November, don’t worry, he won’t be as bad as Bush. I’m telling you, this guy is an amateur. […]

  53. […] Give ‘em hell, Hillary!!! The Confluence: Another Obama Gaffe? Democratic Daily: McCain Better Than Bush? WaPo: Clinton Says McCain No Better Than […]

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