Palin still whining that McCain’s campaign barred her from hitting Obama’s “57 states” gaffe


Sarah Palin told Fox News the other day that the people who ran John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008 ordered her not to publicly knock Barack Obama on certain issues, including his widely-noted mention of “57 states.”

Palin SAID  it’s “important for Americans to understand, I wasn’t allowed to talk about things like that because those elitist, those who are the brainiacs in the GOP machine running John McCain’s campaign at the time said that the media would eat us alive if we brought up these things.”

These complaints from Palin, more than four years after the fact, are peculiar in several respects. Perhaps she’s trying to counter the widespread — and irrefutable — perception that she was a drag on the Republican ticket in ’08. Or perhaps she’s just trying to ingratiate herself with the kooks on the far right who want to believe that the black guy in the White House is so stupid that he thinks there are 57 states in this country.

(Actually, some of the more deranged right-wingers have said that Obama’s “57 states” remark was a reference to 57 Islamic countries, as we see HERE.)

Personally, I’ve always marveled at how the fuss over the “57 states” thing has remained a staple of wingnut nonsense all these five years. It’s still occasionally mentioned in the comment threads on this blog by people who have somehow convinced themselves that a man with degrees from two Ivy League universities doesn’t know that there are only 50 states.

As I see it, Obama’s comment about “57 states” clearly was a slip of the tongue made at the end of a long and tiring day on the campaign trail. He meant to refer to the 57 Democratic primaries and caucuses in 2008. They were in the 50 states plus DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Texas had both a primary and a caucus. That’s a total of 56, and the number increases to 57 when you take into account that voters overseas — soldiers, diplomats and such — are treated as a separate primary election.

It strikes me as especially incongruous that Sarah Palin, whose academic credentials pale in comparison to Obama’s, would still be riding this “57 states” hobby horse.

This is a person who showed herself to be historically illiterate a few years ago when she publicly offered a laughably inaccurate account of Paul Revere’s midnight ride.

Palin said this of Revere:

“He who warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”

Granted, that version of events probably made perfect sense to the countless Americans whose knowledge of history is no better than Palin’s. But it doesn’t jibe with the facts of the matter.

The real purpose of Paul Revere’s ride was not to prompt the ringing of bells and firing of warning shots. Rather, as we see HERE,  it was to inform John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and other colonial American patriots that the British Army was marching from Boston to Lexington. As such, secrecy and stealth were essential. So contrary to Palin’s claim that Revere warned the British they would not succeed, Revere attempted to avoid all contact with British troops or British loyalists already living in the colonies. The entire point of Revere’s mission was to inform the patriots of the British movements without the British knowing they were being informed.

At one point in the night, Revere was temporarily detained and interrogated by British soldiers at a roadblock. He intentionally provided them a falsely inflated description of the colonial militia’s strength, though only in the most strained metaphorical reading could this be considered a “warning.”

For someone of Palin’s spectacular ignorance to imply that Obama doesn’t know how many states there are in this country is beyond silly.



  1. Steverino

    Actually McCain’s decision to bring her on as a running mate allowed her to take a bus tour of historic New England and Washington DC to learn stuff. Don’t bite the hand that fed you Sarah.

  2. Brian Opsahl

    What a short memory the republicans have..?

  3. Craig Knauss

    The same Sarah Palin who said you could see Russia (actually uninhabited Big Diomede Is.) from Alaska (actually sparsely populated Little Diomede Is.) as proof of her foreign policy experience, while totally forgetting that Alaskans could literally walk across the 1500 mile border with Canada.

  4. Brian Opsahl

    Once Sarah got a little taste of all that money fox was paying her….done….money trumps everything for the Palins….she will never run for President…only flirting with it for …yep more money.

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