To Obama, it seems like there are more than 50 states

May 9, 2008

BEAVERTON, Oregon (Reuters) – The battle for the Democratic nomination has been long and tiring. So much so that Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama seemed to forget how many states were in the United States.

“Over the last fifteen months, we’ve obama4.jpgtravelled to every corner of the United States,” the Illinois senator said during a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon.

“I’ve now been in 57 states, I think — one left to go,” Obama said. “Alaska and Hawaii I was not allowed to go to … my staff could not justify it,” he added after hearing laughter from the audience.

Obama apparently did not realize that he had said 57, instead of 47, states visited so far.

“It sure seems like there are 57 states,” a travel-weary campaign aide said after the event. 

Obama has actually been to 46 U.S. states so far during the campaign. He has not visited South Dakota, Arkansas, Alaska or Hawaii, an aide said.

The Illinois senator and his rival, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, have criss-crossed the country as they vie for the Democratic presidential nomination. The winner will face Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain in November’s general election.

Photo credit: Reuters/Steve Dipaola (Obama speaks about economy in Beaverton, Oregon) 

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage
 

29 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa all territories not states.

Posted by dkny | Report as abusive

Forget the “slip-up”; there is no excuse, he is/was a teacher. I think the real hurry to close Hillary down is he simply is exhausted — and there is no room for exhaustion when you want to be the President of the United States in this day and time. I think — just like his party constituents and campaign folks (academia U.S.A), he is tired of allowing a woman to think she could take the White House and she needs to stay in her place. Forget all of that fluff he comes up with about “liking” Hillary. I, for one, can see through it. That glass ceiling that we have supposedly pierced was actually a dream turned nightmare. Ironically, women are the dominant population in the United States. When are we going to make these “good old boys” accept us?? I am totally disgusted with the super delegates also. They are nothing but pawns looking to bow to nothing but pressure. Where is this country going? We need to let the super delegates “go”. I do not like the way they interfere with the popular vote. I see litigation regarding Michigan and Florida… and rightfully so.

Posted by Sandra Lewis | Report as abusive

Hillary is the better candidate. Period.
And the DNC and all the other cries of her “dividing” and “damaging” this party is a joke! Obama is the problem. He is NOT qualified. And he cannot carry the votes. And Obama, Obama supporters, the DNC, Super Delegates and the Media ALL try and blame Hillary or anyone but Obama. The problem is Obama and his wife and their attachment to Wright for 20 YEARS and everything Wright stood for. And Obama has made very deragotory comments, as well as wrote them in his books! And his wife is right there with him. And he is a hypocrite. No, never Obama. And Hilary will not be his scape goat for lack of white voters. He did that all by himself. 20 YEARS WORTH! The Audacity of Obama.

Posted by Core Democrat | Report as abusive

he may be tired but at least he’s not out of money……like hillary

Posted by Aaron | Report as abusive

core dem. obama is going to win the ticket. if you don’t want another 4 years of gw’ism, ala mccai, you need to stop bashing the dem and get behind him. hillary’s done.. move on to bigger and better.

Posted by Aaron | Report as abusive

BEAVERTON, Oregon (Reuters) – The battle for the Democratic nomination has been long and tiring. So much so that news agency Reuters seemed to forget what real news are supposed to be.

Fixed the first paragraph for you.

Posted by Santiago | Report as abusive

“Forget the “slip-up”; there is no excuse, he is/was a teacher. I think the real hurry to close Hillary down is he simply is exhausted — and there is no room for exhaustion when you want to be the President of the United States in this day and time.”

So, Hillary has no excuse for claiming she was targeted by snipers in Bosnia because it was late and she was tired, as former President Clinton claimed? Suits me fine.

Posted by Obscure | Report as abusive

“Hillary is the better candidate. Period.
And the DNC and all the other cries of her “dividing” and “damaging” this party is a joke! Obama is the problem. He is NOT qualified. And he cannot carry the votes.”

You say this, and yet he IS carrying the votes. Senator Clinton was touted as the guaranteed nominee, and her campaign has failed at every turn. So how can she possibly lay any claim to being the better candidate or better able to carry votes? The answer is very simple: she cannot.

Posted by Obscure | Report as abusive

Hillary will be happy to know that she will retain a first place at least in one contest in this primary. That is in Mis-speaking Contest. Nobody beats Hillary in that.

Posted by Junebug | Report as abusive

Us New Yorkers are willing to send Hillary to West Virginia seeing they love her so much. She’d have to sell her MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR mansion though and move into a mountain side home. But really she’s just like them, Bill picked out that mansion she’d have rather lived the simple life. yea right!! She isn’t even close to knowing what the average American deals with. Heck she can throw away money in the 8 figure range at a campaign destined for doom. I’d have a hard time throwing away a 3 digit number away and she says she understand me???? You like then take her, she can be your town mayor because she’s ruined her career in the Senate.

Posted by Terry in NY | Report as abusive

You Hillary supporters are just flat out crazy. I hope that the next time you misspeak at a meeting or while you are teaching school that you are immediately fired for your incompetence. The question is not whether a candidate always speaks perfectly. JFK called himself a jelly doughnut for goodness sake. What matters is judgment. When it was time to make a call to invade Iraq Hillary made the politically calculated call to give Bush the authority to go in. There is no gaff that Obama could make that will erase this. RCP reported yesterday that attacks on Iran seem all but inevitable at this point. This is possible because Hillary and her friends gave Bush the authority to go into Iraq. These short sighted politically expedient decisions are what matter, not an occasional slip of the tongue.

For those of you who are so quick to compare this to the “sniper fire” story, I’d just like to point out that Obama was among the first to defend Clinton at the time, and pleaded with the public that this is a long campaign where every second is being recorded, and that tired politicians can say silly things.

You’re seriously wasting time and effort thinking about this instead of national debt, Iraq war, etc.? What is wrong with you?

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

looks like the Hillaryis44 crowd are here already.

You guys should get a grip on life and move on…

The guy was joking…

He was born in the USA, He graduate from Harvard; he was in charge of Harvard law review; he was a constitutional Lawyer; he was teaching law in the university; he was a state senator for about 7 years; he has been in the US senate for about 3 years…..

Do you guys really thing a guy with such a history does not know the number of states that are in the US.

This is the basis for that joke…

There are 50 states in the US….

Six US territories.

1. Puerto Rico
2. Virgin Islands
3. American Samoa
4. Guam
5. Northern Mariana Islands
6. Minor Outlying Islands (Wake Island and Johnston Island)

And one US-Administered region:

1. Guantanamo Bay

If you do the maths, the US president is in charge of these 57 states, territories, regions

Posted by Elbram | Report as abusive

I can”t wait to hear the the drumbboat of the Swift Beaters from June to November as they pound out the cadence of 20 years with the anti-white Wright, the money Obama collected for the Palestinians with Ayers and Khalidi, the committee on Afghnaistan that Obama never acted on and the Larry Sinclair story in the limo. The Democrats are always so determined to go down in the flames of idealistic fantasy. I really don”t understand why we have to go through this over and over and over.

Posted by Roger Thomas | Report as abusive

Obama was making a joke. And not a bad one, I might add. It’s nice to hear a well thought out joke again. Compared to GWB, Obama is a breath of fresh air…..

Posted by Danny | Report as abusive

IF HILLARY DID THE “SLIP-UP”, IT WILL BE OVER THE TABLOIDS FOR DAYS. THE MEDIA, OBAMA SUPPORTERS, DEMS, OBAMA HIMSELF WILL DERIDE HER TO DISGRACE. THEY HAVE BEEN PUNCHING HER SINCE JANUARY.

Posted by neil from new jersey | Report as abusive

I believe the poster Sandra Lewis would be aghast if the kind of hateful anti-male comments she made about Obama were made instead about Clinton. Your disdain for men in general notwithstanding, it appears that Obama is the likely democratic nominee so rather than decry the male gender as your basis for opposition, perhaps you and other Clinton supporters should – at a minimum – consider if they can support Obama should the trend be bourn out instead of further fracturing the party’s limited unity by devisive rhetoric that serves no gainful purpose. After all is the point to rid the country of Bush-like, “the truth is what we say it is” types or is to pointlessly continue the battle of the sexes?

Posted by James Dawkins | Report as abusive

I’m sure he was just tired. I still support Hillary 100% and I cannot vote for Obama because he is not ready to hold the most important job in this country. He might be ready in 4 yrs, but not now. We still need to be nicer to each other and stop trashing Hillary and Obama.

Posted by cindy | Report as abusive

Can’t imagine US citizens are willing to put their country in the most inexperience hands. 8 years of Bush, US is half way done, another 8 years of Obama, US will be fully finished.

That’s it. Don’t blame anyone about the economic, war or etc….it’s your own choice.

Posted by No Obama | Report as abusive

You are joking! This man does not how many States there are in his own country because he is an elitist, as his comments about those who ‘cling’ to guns and religion being ‘bitter’ prove. Not to mention hanging around with a pastor for 20yrs whose comments are racist and anti-American in anyone’s terms; and not to mention hanging around with an unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist; nor taking money from a man now charged with criminal offenses in Chicago; not to mention – well what is next?

The man is an empty suit who makes a good speech. America needs a leader – Clinton, McCain it doesn’t matter just not Obama.

Posted by Dean Wood | Report as abusive

So he meant to say 47. If he’s not going to Alaska and Hawaii as he said, and he has one left to go, well.. I suppose you McCain supporters can compute simple mathematics.. but just in case, that would make 47.

Also, don’t act like McCain has never misspoke, do you not remember when he called himself a liberal?

And speaking of John McCain and numbers and what not.. how about the number of years he wants to keep spending your money to benefit war profiteers?

BTW, I’ll cast a vote for Obama over McCain, but I in no way support him.

Posted by Jizzle | Report as abusive

Good grief people, he mistakenly said 57 when he meant 47. I can live with that. Our service members cannot live with John “100 years in Iraq” and “Bomb bomb Iran”

Posted by Doug | Report as abusive

I hope Reuters does not look upon me with disdain, however, the security word I had to type was “love”. Timely, indeed, Reuters!

I love constructive critism and comments and I got a good feedback based on my comments. However, I must reply to the James Dawkins’ post. *** I know you are an African-American male, Mr. Dawkins. I also know you “love” Mr. Obama. This is entirely fair. However, your comments about my hate for males has to be a product of your psychosis that strong women have the misfortune of generating. I was an employee for 44 years. I had 44 years to see how women are held back. And the beat goes on.

Posted by Sandra Lewis | Report as abusive

As I’ve said before, Obama talks about change and I have yet to see in writing exactly what changes he proposes. I don’t think he has enough experience to run our country. True tho I’m GOP since 1962, I’m not happy with
Pres. Bush’s Iraq war so I was going to vote for Ms Clinton however the powers that be ,not the citizens, have decided that Obama will be the democrat candidate therefore I will be voting for John McCain.

Posted by Jack from Kansas | Report as abusive

[...] the two terms returned 27 results, only four of which could be considered Old Media outlets: at a Reuters blog; a Bloomberg “Campaign Notebook” item carried at the Houston Chronicle; a Los Angeles [...]

Jeez, someone makes a mistake and he’s again penalized for it. At least he wasn’t deliberately LYING. It was something said out of exhaustion or maybe even it was a joke. Who cares? Why aren’t people attacking Hillary for her lies about Ireland and Bosnia etc? Those were actual lies.

I’m a woman and awfully tired of hearing other women in my age or older blathering about Hillary Clinton and how nice it would be to have a female president. She is a liar and someone made a comment above that if Hillary had said 57 states, it would be complained about. Actually, no it would not. Obama has had a lot more class in not picking fights over stupid things. I’m over 35 now and think that I’d like to see a candidate that I feel will fix things like foreign relations, motivate people to help ourselves and not lie about -her- experience. She has no real experience above what Obama does. For all her foreign trips etc, he actually -lived- life as a kid outside the country seeing other places. I’d consider that on par to her many tea parties.

In the end, I’m sick of hearing people say that blacks all vote for Obama and women who are older all vote for Hillary etc. If someone is black and votes for Obama, good. There are blacks that obviously voted for Hillary too. I just am so tired of the gender and race card. I don’t even believe in ‘race’ in the first place. Some of us vote for non-superficial reasons. Being the first female or the first black president is not a reason for someone to get a vote.

Posted by Zarthus | Report as abusive

[...] Still 57 states, not including Hawaii and Alaska, plus one more to go is pretty funny. [...]

I don’t think he’s been to Vermont during the campaign :( Certainly not since summer ’07 or else I would have been there, waiting in line to see him…

Posted by Cathy | Report as abusive

Ms. Sandra Lewis, I have to side with Mr. Dawkins on his analysis of your commentary. Clearly you have tied your life experiences directly to the campaign of Senator Clinton and associate her failure to win with your failure to overcome your own hardships. Having been in the workforce for 44 years tells the readers that you have lived through the era of segregation and unequal pay for equal work. And yes, it still exists, but significantly less so than when you were in your peak.

Please, Ms. Lewis, consider your stance. Do you truly believe that HILLARY will be a good president, or would you support ANY woman with equal fervor, just because she sports a uterus? I, myself, would LOVE to see the day America puts a woman in office, but I hold HER to the same tough standards I hold any man to. The person who takes office must be able to do the job without malice or contempt, and Hillary has repeatedly shown us she is not capable of this. Hence the increasing support for Obama. He has not been corrupted yet, and this is America’s opportunity to take advantage of that. Yes, he is idealistic, and yes, he’s offered some lofty promises. But like the bumblebee that doesn’t know it’s not built to fly, Obama will press forth and make things happen. Even the politicians can see it – why can’t you?

Posted by Ratgurl | Report as abusive

Of course Barack Obama knows there are 50 states in the United States even people who live outside of the United States are aware of that fact.He graduated from Havard,he was a law professor so clearly he`s not a dummy.I think that people forget that even smart people make mistakes too.It doesn`t make him ignorant or even a liar,it makes him human.For Reuters to make such a sneeringly ignorant and arrogant comment such as “To Obama,it seems like there are more than 50 states” is represntative of their own intellectual shortcomings, not his. All human beings make mistakes,so long as they learn from it that`s the important lesson.If they don`t then you can honestly call them ignorant.

Posted by jrobert | Report as abusive