President Obama made one his many late-night TV appearances yesterday when he visited the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to talk about a myriad of topics, including the NSA, the latest Al Qaeda threat, and Trayvon Martin. The most interesting topic, however, turned out to be an answer President Obama gave about infrastructure, in which he blundered some pretty basic U.S. geography.
“No one is picking up on this,” Glenn said on radio this morning about the President’s ‘oops’ moment. “Play the geography lesson.”
LENO: You mentioned infrastructure. Why is that a partisan issue? I live in a town, the bridge is falling apart, it’s not safe. How does that become Republican or Democrat? How do you not just fix the bridge?
OBAMA: I don’t know. As you know, for the last three years, I’ve said, let’s work together. Let’s find a financing mechanism and let’s go ahead and fix our bridges, fix our roads, sewer systems, our ports. You know, the Panama Canal is being widened so that these big supertankers can come in. Now, that will be finished in 2015. If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. And we’ll lose jobs. Businesses won’t locate here.
Just an FYI, Mr. President: according to Google Maps, Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida are all located on the east coast along the Atlantic Ocean.
“They’re already going someplace else because none of those cities are on the Gulf,” Pat said. “Every city he names is on the Atlantic side.”
So far the majority of the media has been silent on the gaffe, though you can easily imagine the outrage that would have ensued if, say, President Bush had confused his geography.
“That's pretty bad,” Pat said. “Again, if that was Bush, he'd be excoriated.”
“I think that most people, unless you are living right there, most people – I would have thought to myself, I don't think those are on the Gulf. [And then] you would have thought, I must be wrong.”
“No,” Pat said emphatically, “because you know that Charleston's in South Carolina, you know Savannah's in Georgia. The toughest one is Jacksonville. That could be on the Gulf. Then the cursory check of Google Maps would you tell you, no, it’s on the Atlantic side. Pretty amazing and nobody says anything.”
But, then again, if you use the President’s logic that we must “deepen” our ports, maybe his geography isn’t so off after all.
“Can I tell you something,” Glenn asked. “You have to deepen those ports, so they go underneath like some underground river – underneath Georgia and Florida.”
“They connect underneath? Is that what he's saying,” Pat questioned.
“[President Obama is] just smarter than us, as usual,” Stu joked.