Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Jim McDermottJune 15, 2010

On this day 18 years ago, Dan Quayle famously misspelled potato, leading the 12-year-old child whom he "corrected" to later comment to David Letterman, "I know he's not an idiot, but he needs to study more. Do you have to go to college to be vice president?"

Garrison Keillor has the story at the bottom of his Writer's Almanac entry for today. And Youtube (of course) has the clip.

Quayle himself would describe the event in his 1994 memoir as "a defining moment of the worst kind imaginable." But 18 years on, would we still call what was clearly a simple mistake such a big deal?  

Is there room for gaffes in politics?

Jim McDermott, SJ

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Jim McCrea
12 years 5 months ago
Yes, there is room for political gaffes - George W. Bush immediately comes to mind.

The latest from america

For Thanksgiving week, “Inside the Vatican” is bringing you a brief update on a few of the top Vatican stories.
Inside the VaticanNovember 24, 2022
Israeli far-right lawmaker and the head of "Jewish Power" party, Itamar Ben-Gvir visits at Hatikva Market in Tel Aviv during his campaign. Israel's outgoing coalition was one of its most diverse, but the country's incoming coalition is hoping to roll back many of the achievements of the former government. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)
Mere “survival should not be the utmost ambition for a people in democratic countries, but rather prosperity and welfare. I believe that Israel is going to be more Jewish and much less democratic, and we’ll all pay the price for that.”
Judith SudilovskyNovember 23, 2022
A Reflection for Saturday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, by Zac Davis
Zac DavisNovember 23, 2022
A Reflection for Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, by Colleen Dulle
Colleen DulleNovember 23, 2022