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Paul Hayden

Is Obama Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

May 19, 2008

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has an indicted, Syrian-born Chicago shyster named Tony Rezko for a financial mentor. He has a screwball, race-baiting, America-hating pastor named Jeremiah Wright for a spiritual mentor. He has an unrepentant domestic terrorist named William Ayers for a political mentor. And he has one of the angriest wives ever to aspire to the position of First Lady.

Obama refuses to wear a flag lapel pin because he thinks it is more patriotic to criticize his country than to support it, or even to wear a symbol of its support.

Obama thinks those of us out here in flyover country are all a bunch of bitter, gun-toting, Bible-thumping bigots furious at "those who don't look like us."

That really should be enough to sink this lightweight candidacy filled with vague language about "hope" and "change" - what George Will has called "rhetorical cotton candy."

But wait. There's more. Just when we thought Obama had shot himself in the last foot he had available, he presents us with another gift.

On top of Lapelgate and Pastorgate and Bittergate, now comes Stategate. It seems that the brilliant Barack Obama doesn't know how many states there are in our union. In an off-the-cuff statement you will not hear about on the nightly news, Obama declared that during his presidential campaign, he has visited 57 states. He also said that he has one more to visit: Alaska and Hawaii. I swear to you, that's what the man said.

Here are his exact words: "I've now been to 57 states...I have one more to go...they wouldn't let me go to Alaska and Hawaii."

Now, try to imagine if John McCain - or any other Republican - had uttered such a stupid statement in public. Is there any doubt that person would have been pilloried and Dan Quayled for the remainder of this campaign? (At least when Quayle questioned the spelling of potato, he had some basis in fact for his inquiry: the plural of the word is "potatoes" - with an "e.")

McCain is still being vilified for referring to Iran-supported terrorists in Iraq as al Qaida, as if the vast majority of Americans care about the distinction between a Sunni and a Shiite terrorist.

Entire books have been written about the gaffes of George W. Bush. He has been castigated for everything from his mispronunciation of the word "nuclear" (he always says "nucular") to his inability to communicate with the press. His mangled syntax has been regular fodder for the crew at "Saturday Night Live" for his entire two terms in office. "Misunderestimated" was always one of my personal favorites.

But even the most misinformed American can tell you this country has 50 states, having learned that information in what? Kindergarten?

But fear not, Obama supporters; excuses will be made by the mainstream media. "He was tired," we will be told, or "he misspoke." And they will only tell you that if they are forced to report on the matter at all. The New York Times (and most other major newspapers), CNN, ABC, CBS, tax-supported PBS and especially NBC are so pro-Obama it is downright embarrassing, and make no mistake, they will continue to circle the wagons around this guy, just as they have done throughout this campaign.

Perhaps Obama should be a contestant on Fox's "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" Or maybe Jay Leno could interview him out on Hollywood Boulevard as part of his Tonight Show "Jay Walking" segment.

How many of our states have you been to, Senator Obama? Fifty-seven? That's very impressive. I hope you get the chance to see the other one. Or is it two?

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Copyright ©2008 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.