Obama Math Gaffe: “Numbers Make Me Tired”

Ten Thousand Kansans dead?

Obama watchers probably know this already but you may have missed it. On the campaign trail today Senator Barack made reference to the recent spate of tornado deaths in Kansas. Only he got a few numbers wrong, claiming ten thousand persons were killed instead of twelve.

It would be easy enough to excuse Senator Obama for getting the decimal point off just a bit; Kansas is “flyover country”, which in this case means not just a stretch of featureless geography which candidiates travese on their way to more entertaining or important states, but it is also a state over which citizens often do fly, along with their cows, chickens, houses and sundry posessions. How is a Hawaiian supposed to keep track? Ten, ten thousand…

Anyway it’s all Bush’s fault. On the stump today in Richmond Virginia, Barack Obama made sure we all knew it. “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died—an entire town destroyed,” he told a packed house of five hundred people. Then came the tenebrous connection to the President. “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.” Perhaps the National Guard could have stopped the tornado, shot a missle at it or something – or maybe it was Karl Rove and his evil weather machine trying to turn Kansas from a chocolate state into a…well, whatever Kansas is now. Corn Dog state?

Anyway, considering Sentaor Obama’s previous grasp of arithmetic, one has to wonder at the accuracy of his “40 Percent” claim too. Perhaps it was just four? Maybe Zero? Perhaps the “40” Senator Obama referred to was the actual number of troops sent to the town of Greensburg. Maybe it’s just the Beast, but ten thousand people dead would register strongly in his mind. 911 was bad enough at three thousand plus, but ten thousand would be a vast tragedy on an unprecedented scale in this country.  It’s hard to tell.

The Beast would most likely not confuse a number that big or that dire, especially when the real number of deaths from that twister in Kansas was twelve. Not ten thousand, not one thousand, but twelve. Two handsful of piggies and two toes. Honestly, that’s twelve too many, but it’s not even close to ten thousand. It has to make you wonder; with all the other gaffes Obama has made in the last few months, does this man posesses a serious intellect or if he is all flash and smoke?



  1. Doug
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    What a dilema we have now.. We can’t call Obama articulate, and now we can’t say he has a grasp of simple 2 digit numbers..

    Think about that, a simple 2 digit number, and he gets thrown off because he’s “tired”..

    Do any of you think that the work load of being president might just be tiring at times?? Budget will be oh so much fun wont it.

    Just an aside but isn’t it interesting that the MSM has not made of this what they made, and make of every misstep by G.W. Bush. No the news was full of Bush’s “gaffe ” regarding the queen.

  2. Posted May 9, 2007 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Good point, as usual, Doug.

    Of course the MSM will soft play this, they are not done with their love affair yet. You know how that works; in the early months and years of a relationship you tend to overlook your partner’s failings in favor of his/her’s good points. She may eat salt and vinegar chips in bed waste money on weekly toe waxes, but she looks great at parties. It is only in aggregate, over time, that these things get on your nerves enough to affect the relationship – once the bloom is off the rose.

    We all knew (or at least suspected) Obama was a bit of an unproven lightweight and many of us predicted that once fully into the race we would see the quality of his mettle and probably be underwhelmed.

    So here we are. Obama is all in and the flower is wilting fast. Obama should feel grateful nobody asked him to spell “potato” – that gaffe haunts Dan Quayle to this very day.

  3. freespiritedkev
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Saw an interesting comment on another blog thought I’d say it here. Obama spokesperson said he was “tired” Obama is what 45 and McCain is 71?

    Hmmm just saying

  4. Posted June 1, 2007 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I can’t spel potato either, but I’m not running for (or from) anything.
    Number doesn’t really matter — tragedy either way, but to be off by a couple of orders of magnitude is Saturday Night Live Material!

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