Obama's 2002 Antiwar Speech Date Inconsistency (Updated)
by Artificial Intelligence, Tue Jan 15, 2008 at 07:41:04 AM EST
Following the "reality" theme set by susanhu in her January 14, 2008, MyDD diary Reality: Why Obama Is Exploiting Racism, let's explore the "reality" of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)'s antiwar stance prior to his run for the U.S. Senate with a focus on the date of that much-touted October 2002 speech given in Chicago's Daley Plaza.
Obama's website BarackObama.com provides a copy of his speech entitled "Remarks of Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama Against Going to War with Iraq", dated October 2, 2002.
Elsewhere on the internet, however, the date for the speech delivered in Chicago is stated as October 26, 2002, including the text of the speech published at Wikisource and by The Network Journal (September 2004), for example.
On January 13, 2008, DemocraticUnderground forum commenter stillcool47 posted the speech dated October 26, 2002, with the source link cited as barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf. The date on the pdf document now reads October 2, 2002.
In February 2007, Obama supporters cited the date of the speech as October 26, 2002. In his February 12, 2007, post, Lawrence Jones included the text of the speech—dated October 26, 2002 on his Obama community page and, on February 13, 2007, an Obama diarist at SouthernDemocrats.us posted the text of the speech under the heading October 26, 2002.
Even the Wikipedia article Political positions of Barack Obama dates his speech to October 26, 2002. The date, cited in Footnote 52, originally linked to Obama's 2010 U.S. Senate re-election campaign webpage Obama2010.us/2002/10/26/iraq_war.php. When clicking on the link now, one is redirected to BarackObama.com.
Why is this important?
First, this inconsistency for the date of the Chicago speech cannot be a simple error or a coincidence that can easily be explained away, particularly since the source for the October 26, 2002, date was Obama's own web pages. So, in that context, the many bloggers linking to or referring to the date cannot be wrong.
Second, and perhaps most significantly, the date of Obama's speech plays into his current presidential campaign antiwar scenario.
If the date for the speech is October 2, 2002, then it shares the anniversary of Senate Joint Resolution 46,—commonly known as the Authorization for Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq—sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) (with 16 cosponsors, including then Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)) and introduced in the U.S. Senate on October 2, 2002.
If given on October 2, 2002, it would also predate House Joint Resolution 114, which was passed October 11, 2002, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
However, if the date of the speech was October 26, 2002, then it came fifteen days AFTER the joint resolution was passed in the House.
The earlier date would make the speech more prescient and the latter date would render the speech less potent coming after the fact, since the joint resolution had already been passed.
How do we explain this discrepancy in light of indications that the date of the speech has been changed on Obama's websites? Is it possible that Obama gave the same speech at two antiwar rallies in Chicago on two separate days—October 2, 2002, and October 26, 2002? And if so, why has it not been mentioned?UPDATE: Thanks to the efforts of commenters below, it looks like we have come to the conclusion that Obama may have given his speech as early as October 2, 2002. What it doesn't answer, however, is the question as to why throughout the month of October 2002, when it appears that he may have given the speech a number of times, he never mentions the war authorization legislation either before or after it was passed.