Monday, March 24, 2008

The “Misspeaker in Chief” Threshold

As of today, it’s official!

We now know that Barack Obama is the only candidate in the presidential race that has crossed the threshold separating deliberate and careful use of the spoken word, from the practice of indiscriminately blurting out statements that are factually wrong, and then needing to be publicly corrected by aides like Joe Lieberman and Howard Wolfson!

Here’s McCain’s latest bit of misspeak:

And here’s Hillary Clinton’s latest bit of misspeak:

Clearly, based on Wolfson’s description of Hillary’s Big Adventure in Tuzla, where he claims she merely “mis-spoke” when describing (multiple times) having to run through sniper fire with heads down, McCain and Clinton are both firmly planted on the same side of the “misspeaker in chief” threshold.

And, for good measure, here’s Barack Obama speaking from the other side of the threshold:

Now, in a subsequent interview with Will Bunch, Hillary weighs in personally on the issue, again copping to a “misstatement.” But when she was asked if she thought it would damage her credibility, she offered this:
No, I went to 80 countries, you know. I gave contemporaneous accounts, I wrote about a lot of this in my book. you know, I think that, a minor blip, you know, if I said something that, you know, I say a lot of things -- millions of words a day -- so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement.
OK, so let’s do the math! Giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming she only says one million words a day -and never sleeps, eats or pauses to listen to anybody else - that would be approximately 41,700 words per hour, or 700 words per minute, or about 12 words per second!

When you are talking that fast, it’s no wonder you occasionally misspeak!


  1. I would love to hear Obama's people start framing it this way.

    I think Hillary believes her own "mis-statements". She thinks she's Lara Croft or something.

  2. Anonymous7:02 PM

    It is interesting to me that Hillary is not taking responsibility for her words, but she is expecting Obama to take complete responsbility for his pastor's words. She is some piece of work. She has exposed us to Carl Rove tactics in the Democratic party. She must at some point face herself. I'm not sure how that will be, but I feel sure this campaign is not the making of a president, but the undoing of an ex-first lady. She apparently thought that her first lady status entitled her to the presidency. I hope she wakes up before she destroys all the respect that so many people had for her. Thanks for putting all three on this blog. Obama is an exceptional person of great character, and hearing him speak is a blessing to the ears.