According to the L.A. Times Barack Obama hit the wrong button several times as a member of the Illinois State Senate when voting.
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. 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.
This happened to Barack Obama six times in the Illinois State Legislature.
Four of Obama's admitted flubs drew little controversy.
On March 19, 1997, he announced he had fumbled an election-reform vote the day before, on a measure that passed 51 to 6: "I was trying to vote yes on this, and I was recorded as a no," he said. The next day, he acknowledged voting "present" on a key telecommunications vote.
He stood on March 11, 1999, to take back his vote against legislation to end good-behavior credits for certain felons in county jails. "I pressed the wrong button on that," he said.
Obama was the lone dissenter on Feb. 24, 2000, against 57 yeas for a ban on human cloning. "I pressed the wrong button by accident," he said."
Seems more likely to me that he just didn't want to be to only person supporting human cloning.
But two of Obama's bumbles came on more-sensitive topics. On Nov. 14, 1997, he backed legislation to permit riverboat casinos to operate even when the boats were dockside.
The measure, pushed by the gambling industry and fought by church groups whose support Obama was seeking, passed with two "yeas" to spare -- including Obama's. Moments after its passage he rose to say, "I'd like to be recorded as a no vote," explaining that he had mistakenly voted for it.
Looks to me like Obama knew it would be a close vote and once he saw the bill didn't need his vote to pass asked that it be changed in the record. This way he can be sure the bill passes and not worry about it being overturned if a motion to reconsider the bill comes to the floor.
"Obama would later develop a reputation as a critic of the gambling industry, and he voted against a similar measure two years later. But he was clearly confused about how to handle the issue at the time of his first vote, telling a church group on a 1998 campaign questionnaire that he was "undecided" about whether he backed an expansion of riverboat gambling. And, months earlier, he had voted in favor of a version of the bill."
So Obama was for riverboat gambling before he was against it. Really i don't have a problem either way, but it be nice if he could make up his mind or just tell the people where he stood on the issue.
"The senator who led the opposition to the gambling measure, Republican Todd Sieben, said he took Obama at his word that the initial vote was an error. But Sieben also said the thin margin of victory was a sign that perhaps there was more to the vote than met the eye. "He was obviously paying attention to this vote. It was a major, major issue in the state, and it was a long debate," Sieben said. "The inadvertent 'Oops, I missed the switch' -- I'd be kind of skeptical of that."
On June 11, 2002, Obama's vote sparked a confrontation after he joined Republicans to block Democrats trying to override a veto by GOP Gov. George Ryan of a $2-million allotment for the west Chicago child welfare office.
Shortly afterward, Obama chastised Republicans for their "sanctimony" in claiming that only they had the mettle to make tough choices in a tight budget year. And he called for "responsible budgeting."
A fellow Democrat suddenly seethed with anger. "You got a lot of nerve to talk about being responsible," said Sen. Rickey Hendon, accusing Obama of voting to close the child welfare office.
Obama replied right away. "I understand Sen. Hendon's anger. . . . I was not aware that I had voted no on that last -- last piece of legislation," he said.
Obama asked that the record reflect that he meant to vote yes. Then he requested that Hendon "ask me about a vote before he names me on the floor."
Hendon said "it happens" that senators press the wrong button. But he was quick to add: "I've never done it."
The question is was Obama just playing politics or was he just careless with his votes? I guess it could be a little of both. If he was playing politics then we know that he cannot be trusted to do what he says. If he really did just hit the wrong button what if he does that in the Oval Office?
1 week ago