Posted by: Calvin | April 4, 2008

Obama Blunder?

Barrack Obama may have made a very big mistake in a speech yesterday.  Listen for yourself:

I am not a right to life or religious zealot by any stretch of the imagination.  I am a Mom, however.  The thought that anyone would think of a child as a PUNISHMENT is at the very least off-putting to me and at most down right offensive. 

I understand that finding out that she is pregnant is usually not welcome news to a teenage girl.  With the values the I have come to possess, if I were a teenager again (not a desire of mine mind you) and found myself in that situation, I would not consider abortion as an option.  I would either view it as one of many challenges that would confront me in my short time on earth or I would give up the child for adoption.  Those are my beliefs.  I am personally against abortion and I think it is killing a living being. 

That said, I do not think it is right for me to tell someone else what they should think or believe.  I do not think that the federal government should either.  I am firmly of the opinion that the issue is a personal issue and has no place in federal politics.  I have read the Consitution and regulating abortion is not one of the federal powers . . . but that is a whole other post that I will likely never write.

But . . . would I vote for a presidential candidate, Republican, Democrat, Independant, Libritarian or other, that considers a baby punishment?  Not a chance.   This is not a person with the values I would want in the office or President of the United States.

To the readers that have stated their backing of Obama . . . does this bother you?  Does it change your mind about him?  I am just curious.  It seems to me that if he continiues to say such things, he is going to lose a lot of votes.




  1. Absolutely it bothers me! I agree with the message that we need to educate kids about the realities of sex, but children can be “consequences” not punishment. Most of all, children need to be loved. This is something I think Hillary Clinton really gets.

    And they compare Obama to Martin Luther King, Jr.? It’s not possible!

  2. I understand your feelings, as do many, many other people. Amazing, don’t you think how most of the MSM reported this with as little fan fare as possible.

    Watching Obama over these many months, I’ve found if you want to know what he really thinks, listen to his first answer. It doesn’t matter what the topic is watch how his position morphs.

    Some pundits call that flip/flopping. If this does become an issue you know his “punishment” statement concerning children will change.

  3. Must as today when I used some very poor phrasing and poor choice of words in a conversation with someone (which I ended up apologizing for)…no,this is not the best way to frame things and I suspect that an explanation will be forth coming. It does not change my support for him at all. One word cannot do that. No candidate is perfectly matched for me, but of the 3, he is the closest and this does not change that.

  4. generally speaking, it seems to me (and I could be wrong so if someone has the statistics to back me up please go ahead) that less well educated poor girls are more likely to have and raise babies (instead of putting them up for adoption).

    So with that said — is being 16 and being saddled with an infant forever, giving up your freedom, any chance for higher education, likely any chance to finish high school, not to mention nights out with your friends and prom and all those other things that high school girls do — is giving all that up a punishment?

    Obama sees things through a different lens than your average white male. It may help or hinder his election chances, but it certainly gives us all a lot to consider, and puts topics on the general radar that haven’t been there for years. A good thing in my opinion.

    And, as an aside, I hate to say it, but in this country young, healthy, white babies are still pretty high on the list of the ones that people want to adopt.

  5. Like TPGoddess, I think this is poor phrasing, but it doesn’t change my support for him. I’ve heard many conservative Christians say that unplanned pregnancies and STDs are the “punishment” for out of wedlock sex. And, certainly the repercussions for teenage moms are long-term since they are less likely to complete high school and college and more likely to live in poverty.

  6. I thought at first it was poor phasing and contemplated giving him a pass, but he did not say this in a Q&A or an unscripted setting. He said it in a political speech; the type of political speech that is written by staff speech writers who carefully choose words. They are reviewed, approved and rehearsed by the candidate. I really think he should have chosen a different word – like “consequence” as noted above. I too will watch with interest how this spins and evolves.

    I think we all agree that teen pregnancy has significant negative consequences, but I for one will not agree that the baby is a punishment.

    LSM – I find it ironic that you compare Obama to a conservative christian! 🙂 For the record, do not agree with extremists who say such things in any party. You are making my point loud and clear!

  7. I typed my response so fast! I was on my way out for a spur of the moment date at the Padres game. Sorry about the typos and rather dashed off response. However, I stick to it and feel much as LSM and Rambling Mom do. And, I want to point out that Obama actually does NOT go with pre written speeches. He wrote his race speech 100% on his own. He frequently goes to those rallies with just outlines of topics and then just speaks. The campaign writers come up with some of his oft repeated catch phrases, but not entire stump speeches.

    All 3 candidates have said things already which make people cringe. They have all been tired or jumbled their thoughts and chosen awkward words or phrases – even WITH prepared statements. They are human. Lord knows if people were to judge me 100% on any particular day in my life it would seem terribly unfair. We put all of these candidates too much under a microscope and expect – no, demand – perfection. That’s pretty much why I chose the post I did today – to skewer the media 🙂

    And as one who, at 19, made my personal decision to have my child (while being very very thankful that I had a choice in the matter), I do completely agree with you that children are not punishment.

  8. I actually think he does most of his own speech writing and surely the editing.

    I am sure he will not repeat this statement…that should tell us if he thought it was a mistake. I have had a busy week adn haven’t seen too much of the news, but I would imagine he would get a pass on this…

  9. I should point out that I don’t agree with the idea of children as “punishment” for sex, no matter what the circumstances. I just mentioned it in my comments to highlight the fact that Obama wouldn’t be the first to look at an unplanned pregnancy in this way.

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