Obama’s Roanoke Comments: Revealing or Just a Gaffe?

For the last week, the audio and video have been run and re-run a zillion times, and will be run another zillion times before the election in November. And, Obama’s words have been analyzed ad nauseum by the left and the right.

The right believes the Roanoke statements offered an insight into Obama’s political soul; the left, that the statement were simply a gaffe, taken out of context for political purposes.

I believe Obama’s statements are a little of both. That said, what is the history of Obama’s more notable and revealing statements and/or gaffes?

Prior to the election, there was the ‘Joe the Plumber/spread the wealth’ comment, likely an inadvertent reflection of Obama’s actual beliefs. And, the ‘bitter clingers’ remarks, captured on audio tape at a fundraiser in California where Obama never thought his statements would be made public.

Neither had any appreciable impact on the outcome of the election, but became forerunners of the current Roanoke debate.

There were the ‘57 states’ and ‘corpseman’ snafus. And, two weeks ago, Obama misspoke again, confusing paralegals and paramedics. In and of themselves, these mistakes are rather meaningless, but what’s causing them?

In June, Obama uttered the famous-for-a-week ‘the economy is doing just fine’ statement. The comment was extemporaneous.

And, of course, Obama made his now famous statements in Roanoke.

Therefore, if you assume Obama’s radical leftist beliefs lurk just below the surface, why and how do they periodically escape? And why does Obama come out with his nonsensical brain burps? I propose several possibilities.

First, the statements didn’t really ‘escape’ at all; Obama intentionally made the statements in the attempt to appeal to and solidify support from the far-left. Perhaps there was a mistake in judgment to make the statements, but the content therein was deliberate.

Second, and seriously, Obama has done so many private fundraising events where he throws out highly partisan rhetoric; could he actually confuse his fundraising stump speech with that designed for public consumption? And, as Karl Rove speculates, have Obama’s handlers exhausted him with the hundreds of fundraisers?

Third, a lack of skill. Obama’s oratorical skills are limited to delivering prepared statements via the teleprompter. He does not have the ability to effectively communicate extemporaneously or in a one-on-one dialog, particularly if challenged. Obama simply does not do well off script.

Fourth, Obama’s ego overrides his judgment; he reverts to his community organizing roots. Surrounded by adoring supporters, he can’t imagine why everyone wouldn’t share the crowd’s enthusiasm for his leftist agenda. Obama just can’t help himself.

Lastly, and influencing the other explanations above, Obama is simply not the intellectual giant others have been led to believe.

Author Bio:

graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, Rodney authored “Leading Your Business to the Next Level,” a non-fiction business book in 2005. “Powers Not Delegated” is Rodney’s first foray into fiction; the book meshes his knowledge of history, business and current events to produce a relevant and plausible tale of domestic and international intrigue. Additionally, Rodney writes political commentary on his own blog and for other nationally known blogs/websites. Rodney lives in Atlanta. His passions include hiking, photography, history, reading, and, of course, University of Georgia football.
  • Venter

    I am a very long time fan of the radio.   You learn to listen to what is being said.  One of the reasons I was unable to vote for Obama I heard his message very clearly and hoped I was wrong. He also sent a message when the young man was killed down in Florida.  He said  “Trayvon Martin could have been his son.”  What happened after that ,  it was a white Spanish man who killed Trayvon .  Everything became Race.                                                       I think people are hearing Obama’s messages now.  They heard what he feels about the hard working small  businessmen whos taxes paid for the roads to be built.   The hard working immigrants have to be rollling over in their graves.  This will be around for a long while because he has struck  at the heart of America and we hear the throbbing  pain,

  • ThisIsAGreatCountry

    By the way, i’m not implying that Obama is on par with Castro…Castro’s evil is in a class of it’s own.

  • ThisIsAGreatCountry

    As the son of cuban exiles who fled Castro’s dictatorship in the 60’s, i remember my parents and grandparents recounting how when Castro first showed up he lied and denied that he was a communist…he lied in order to obtain public support for the overthrow of the corrupt Batista government.  The majority of cubans were actually against Batista – even the middle classes and some of the upper class cubans – and if Castro would have presided over honest and sane reforms he could have been a great leader.  He went completely in the other direction and destroyed a country.  The point is, he lied his a** off in order to get in power.

      While i dont think that Obama is a communist (probably a socialist though) i do feel that he generally doesnt reveal his true political beliefs because he knows they won’t be popular with the American public.  So, occasionally, by design or by accident, he makes a statement like the “you didnt build that” speech that reveals his true beliefs.  The sad thing is that we have a majority of media outlets that actively promote the current administration instead of challenging it and pointing out the contradictions and mis-statements etc.  Regardless of which party is in control, our best protection rests with a strong, effective press that provides accurate information to the electorate.

    • 14POLK88

      If  Obama could get away with it he would make Castro look like a saint!!!

  • Walter

    I think the author has accurately assessed Obama. I have never been impressed with Obama’s oratorical skills. Highly over-rated. 

  • GlenFS


    My leftist friends do indeed see it as exploitation out of context of a misspoken, poorly worded (but noble) statement.  Bah!  I think he’s been retelling this over and over and decided to ad lib and take it just a bit further: “you didn’t build that”.

    Right thinking folks see his arrogant and presumptive, marxist nature: we all (mostly he) built that and lay claim to it.  It also agrees with the overall statement in context (you couldn’t have succeeded without this infrastructure).

    I don’t know why he said it, but I’m very glad he did.  Nice piece.