Sen. Barack Obama must be drinking some of the same Seattle water as secessionist Mayor Greg Nickels. In Beaverton, Ore., he told the crowd that he'd visited "57 states" with "one left to go." He goes on to say that the only states he hasn't been to during his presidential bid are Alaska and Hawaii, which means Obama thinks the U.S. has 58 states, though by his own count there should be 59.
Is this a case of campaign sleep deprivation? A strategy for expanding the Electoral College? An attempt to pander to hardworking-yet-ignorant Americans? Or is it a sly "dog whistle" to separatists like Obama-backer Nickels, who wants Seattle to cut and run from the state of Washington? Perhaps he appeals to the dreams of future U.S. states like Lincoln, Jefferson, Superior, D.C., Puerto Rico — there's even a group that wants to make the former British Guyana a state! Or perhaps his briefing papers contained a workbook from this diploma mill. One last theory: After promising change, maybe he really means it.
As the Los Angeles Times notes, if nothing else, it means bigger flag lapel pins for everyone else.