Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama's Special Olympics Gaffe: An Interesting Counterfactual

Now, here's an interesting "what if" from John Pitney over at Epic Journey.

[Note: This is a newish blog from a handful of political scientists and John has ramped up the number of posts this month. Note 2: I need to update my blogroll.]

What if candidate Obama had made this quip on Leno six months ago in the midst of the general election campaign? What would the reaction have been? I'll take firestorm for $1000, Alex. With Sarah Palin being the mother of an infant with Downs, that likely would have been an interesting point in the campaign.

But there's the difference: Candidate vs. President Obama.

Recent Posts:
2012 GOP Presidential Candidate Bracket

Obligatory Brackets Post: 2008 Presidential Candidates

Election 2012: Obama 55 - Palin 35


Jack said...

Yeah, like everyone saw "lipstick on a pig" as a Palin reference. Oh, wait ... Maybe Palin could have shown some righteous anger and gotten some sympathy for a while, but it wouldn't have been a bigger issue than, say, the economy.

(It'll be interesting if Palin has something to say about this now. Given the number of people in this country with disabilities or with children with disabilities, it might be a good move for her.)

This would have more damaging in the Democratic primary, as only liberals are likely to really get upset at this. But they wouldn't vote for McCain over Obama over it.

Jack said...

Never mind, Palin did say something (thanks to Epic Journey for the link). I find it interesting that Palin considers those with special needs more "precious" than other people, rather than equally so.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Jack. The decay function on that story's ability to remain salient would have been quite steep given the economy.