February 15, 2008

The wrong button

Jim Geraghty notes this story which details how Barack Obama can't click the right button:

Barack Obama angered fellow Democrats in the Illinois Senate when he voted to strip millions of dollars from a child welfare office on Chicago's West Side. But Obama had a ready explanation: He goofed.

"I was not aware that I had voted no," he said that day in June 2002, asking that the record be changed to reflect that he "intended to vote yes."

That was not the only misfire for the former civil rights attorney first elected to the state Senate in 1996. During his eight years in state office, Obama cast more than 4,000 votes. Of those, according to transcripts of the proceedings in Springfield, he hit the wrong button at least six times.

The rules allow state lawmakers to clear up a mishap if they suffered from a momentary case of stumbly fingers or a lapse in attention. Correcting the record is common practice in the Illinois Legislature, where lawmakers routinely cast numerous votes in a hurry.

But some lawmakers say the practice also offers a relatively painless way to placate both sides of a difficult issue. Even if a lawmaker admits an error, the actual vote stands and the official record merely shows the senator's "intent."

To which Geraghty says:

Hey, no big deal. It's not like the biggest, most devastating decision a president could make is represented by the metaphor of "pushing the button."

"Sir, we have outbound ICBMs."

"Relax, President Obama just hit the wrong button."


Posted by Hube at February 15, 2008 07:59 AM | TrackBack

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