Ed Driscoll


“Obama accidentally misspelled ‘respect’ while introducing singer Aretha Franklin during a tribute to “Women of Soul” at the White House Thursday,” Fox News reports, asking if it was Mr. Obama’s “Dan Quayle Moment:”


“When Aretha first told us what … R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her,” Obama said, pausing briefly before the audience began laughing, apparently realizing his mistake. “She had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African Americans and women and anyone else who felt marginalized because of what they looked like, who they loved. They wanted some respect.”

Also looking for some respect is Quayle, who in 1992 was schooled by a sixth grader on how to spell potato.

Quayle was at the Munoz Rivera Elementary School spelling bee in Trenton, N.J., when he relied on a notecard provided by the school on the spelling of the word potato, a word used in the contest. The notecard incorrectly added an “e” to the end of the word, and Quayle advised the student to spell it that way.

In his 1994 autobiography, Quayle called the day “a defining moment of the worst kind imaginable.” He added, “Politicians live and die by the symbolic sound bite.”

But Quayle — who had more years as a senator in DC before becoming vice president than Mr. Obama did before running for president — endured a baptism by nuclear fire from the monolithically leftwing media in 1988, which magnified every one of his minor gaffes into momentous character flaws. All in sharp contrast to the way the media greased the skids and downplayed every gaffe from Obama and his vice president — who’d I’d refer to as the “equally Quayle-esque” Joe Biden, except that would be an insult to Quayle himself.


(And it goes without saying that Mr. Quayle’s youthful culinary habits were far more refined than Mr. Obama’s of course.)

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