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A "country of Africa" moment for Nancy Pelosi

"Five hundred million Americans will lose their jobs ..."

Let's be fair. It's pretty obvious that she meant to say "500,000 Americans will lose their jobs."

Perception in the eyes of the press -- and in the eyes of entertainers -- is a curious thing. Former President Gerald Ford was an Eagle Scout, captain of his high school football team, and a starter at the University of Michigan, where he played center and linebacker. The undefeated Wolverines were national champions in 1932 and 1933. Ford also coached football while a member of the US Navy and was a decorated officer and combat veteran in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Yet Ford had the misfortune of falling twice on the stair ramp leading to the entrance door of Air Force One. From then on, he was portrayed by press and by late night comedians (who were no doubt incensed by his pardon of Richard Nixon) as a bumbling, incompetent clod.

Dan Quayle (undeservedly in my opinion, although this didn't help) was branded as an idiot by the press, and every miscue and verbal gaffe made by Quayle was brought up again and again as proof of his stupidity.

So I wonder ... will the same people who knew that Sarah Palin was unfit to lead because of her "country of Africa" gaffe now start questioning the leadership abilities of Nancy Pelosi? Will late night comedians play this clip over and over again? Will Saturday Night Live run a series of skits portraying Pelosi as a bumbling doofus who succeeds only through wildly accidental circumstances?

And most importantly, will those people still be snickering about "500 million Americans" ten years from now?


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Comments (17)

OK, let's accept the slip o... (Below threshold)

OK, let's accept the slip of the tongue. I have no problem with that.

Is the claim that 500,000 Americans will lose their jobs every month accurate?

I have no idea, so I am asking for information here. Did Pelosi only suffer a slip of the tongue, or did she also peddle an error of fact in what she is thought to have intended to say? And since she was making a prediction, what sources support the claim (meaning credible references and not mere political fearmongering)?

will the same people who... (Below threshold)

will the same people who knew that Sarah Palin was unfit to lead because of her "country of Africa" gaffe now start questioning the leadership abilities of Nancy Pelosi?

Do you really think the assessment of Palin was due to that single gaffe?

If Pelosi makes gaffe after gaffe after gaffe, then you can ask this question again. Although speaker of the house doesn't get nearly the attention from late-night comics as the President and VP.

If you count all 57 states,... (Below threshold)

If you count all 57 states, there actually are well over 500 million jobs at stake.

Name the serious gaff Brian... (Below threshold)

Name the serious gaff Brian. I have an arsenal of Pelosi gaffs starting with the birth control will stimulate the economy and save costs down the road speech. ww

"Do you really think the... (Below threshold)

"Do you really think the assessment of Palin was due to that single gaffe?"

Nope - it was a serious, determined effort to discredit someone who wasn't a Democrat and wasn't part of the 'good old beltway boy' network. Plus, she'd actually DONE something, and gotten a lot more accomplished that Mr. Hopey Changefulness got done with all his 'community organizing' (which he confessed he failed at), and his Annenburg Challenge stuff (which he confessed had no real result) and his time as a state senator (which he buggered up - google Grove Parc) - AND she was reasonably photogenic - which I think you'll agree that Pelosi is not.

So obviously she had to be destroyed.

Name the serious gaff Br... (Below threshold)

Name the serious gaff Brian.

Name Palin's gaffes? Are you serious? Was your head under a rock during the campaign? (Silly question.)

I have an arsenal of Pelosi gaffs starting with the birth control will stimulate the economy

Ah, I see... you don't know what the word "gaffe" means. That explains it.

So obviously she had to ... (Below threshold)

So obviously she had to be destroyed.

Pulling your tinfoil hat a little too tight, I see.

quayle, palin, and bu$h wer... (Below threshold)

quayle, palin, and bu$h were branded as idiots for many reasons besides gaffes. thats the critical difference

nice try though!


Well, let's wait and see ho... (Below threshold)

Well, let's wait and see how Obama does. Looks like he might be getting into a pissing contest with Madame Speaker - I'm thinking it's going to be a VERY interesting 4 years if things are going this way so quickly.

Pelosi said, "And some of t... (Below threshold)

Pelosi said, "And some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians-they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, they negotiated that cessation of hostilities-the Iranians."

Brian... "the goodwill of the Iranians"

Remember that one.

jlawson - interesting artic... (Below threshold)

jlawson - interesting article and i hope you find some encouragement from it. clearly obamas greatest challenge is undoing the business-as-usual of washington and it appears hes actually trying to do so. could be worse right?

"country of Africa" gaffe: ... (Below threshold)

"country of Africa" gaffe: this so-called gaffe is based on what was said by some anonymous source soon after the election, with smear as its clear intention. There is no public record of any sort that Governor Palin ever made that mistake, though that fact has not deterred you from repeating the initial falsehood.

Brian,ww asked you a quest... (Below threshold)

Brian,ww asked you a question,what was the gaffe. I would like to know what they were.And no,my head wasnt under a rock,its just that I dont remember hearing any,do you?BTW, a silly or stupid question is one not asked.

OK, 1903, I'll bite.... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

OK, 1903, I'll bite.
It wasn't so much the "gaffes" per se, it was:
The inability to form coherent English sentences.
The inability to name a single newspaper or magazine she read regularly.
The deer-in-the-headlights stare when asked about the Bush Doctrine.
The "also, too's".
The inappropriate and creepy winking.
The dividing of the country into "real Americans" and the rest of us.
The obvious and cynical attempt to steal the "Hillary vote" by running a "Vagina-American."
The self-victimization and blaming the "liberal media," particularly the attempt to paint Katie Freaking Couric and Charlie Freaking Gibson as master interrogators who played "Gotcha."
The "I'm a REAL feminist" act, while simultaneously opposing choice, equal pay, etc.
The obvious insincerity and cynicism.
The playing of the Howling Mob card, practically accusing Obama of being a terrorist or sympathizer.
The perceived abuse of her political power in the "Troopergate" mess.
The fact that, for many people, she and her whole oddly-named family seemed like people on the Jerry Springer show.

Pea -Believe me, I... (Below threshold)

Pea -

Believe me, I'm finding little of encouragement in it.

What seems to be lost on the Democratic party is that we're ALL in this together. Infighting in the party is like watching people bicker over who gets to drill the biggest holes in the bottom of the boat we're all floating in.

The Democratic Party worked DILIGENTLY to place control of the party into Pelosi and Reid's hands. Now they're supposed to just give it up so someone ELSE can look good? I can understand how they don't want to give up their power to some temporary upstart. After all, Presidents come and go. It's the Speakers that (they think) really controls things.

So I think this incident is emblematic of just how much cooperation Obama's going to be getting. He campaigned on 'Change' - but Pelosi and Co. saw that as the usual lip service to 'change', and that meant everything was to stay as it was.

Will Obama have the guts to challenge the old boy (and girl) network inside the DNC? Will he actually be ABLE to, or will he just let business as usual be done? If he DOES challenge them - will he succeed, or be shown that although he may be President, Pelosi and Reid really control things?

You're watching an aristocracy protecting its priveleges (and itself) from an interloper. Time will tell how effective he is.

This wasn't a slip of the t... (Below threshold)

This wasn't a slip of the tongue. Pelosi said the same thing on Jan. 18th on a Fox news interview. Typical liberal scare tactics. They figure people were stupid enough to vote for Hussein Obama that they would believe anything.

Wow, that guy's screen name... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Wow, that guy's screen name is "nobama"!!!!!! Is that awesome or what? What an ironic freaking GENIUS he must be to think of that TOTALLY ORIGINAL screen name!!!! "Nobama'!!! Who the hell would ever have thought of that in a million years?






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