Barack Obama greeted Crown Prince Bin Nayef of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office yesterday by getting some names wrong. Here's how the president began the remarks:
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND CROWN PRINCE BIN NAYEF OF SAUDI ARABIA BEFORE BILATERAL MEETING
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s wonderful to welcome back the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Nayef, as well as Deputy Crown Prince Salman. We are very pleased to have them both here today, as well as the delegation from Saudi Arabia.
As all of you are aware, the United States and Saudi Arabia have an extraordinary friendship and relationship that dates back to Franklin Roosevelt and King Faisal, and we are continuing to build that relationship during a very challenging time.
"Minor detail? How about this one: in 1945, FDR met the founder of the modern Saudi kingdom, the grandfather of the two princes he was greeting in the Oval Office. President Obama called him King Faisal, but the founder was King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud. His son Faisal ruled from 1964 to 1975.
"What must the Saudis, and other Gulf rulers, think when the president does not appear to know the name of the deputy crown prince, and does not know with whom FDR met? Bad staff work? Failure to Google? Lack of interest? Yes, getting the names wrong is not a casus belli, but it will deepen the sense in the Gulf and the wider Middle East that the President of the United States does not know what he is doing in their region."
Speaking in Iowa today, Vice President Joe Biden touted the "wisest man in the Orient." Here's video:
"You know, on the way back from Mumbai to go meet with President Xi in China, I stopped in Singapore to meet with a guy name Lee Kuan Yew, who most foreign policy experts around the world say is the wisest man in the Orient," the vice president shouted.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken her book tour abroad. But in an interview with the BBC, when answering a question about how specialness of the special relationship between the U.S. and UK, the nation's former top diplomat gets the names of the political parties in the UK wrong.
The BBC host asked, "So how special is the special relationship?"
In his first foreign trip in the second term of President Barack Obama's presidency, Vice President Joe Biden is gaffing his way across Europe. Biden's three country trip has taken him from Germany to France and, finally, to the UK, where he's just finishing meetings.
I know a gaffe when I see one, having made many myself, and Romney’s 47 percent remark was no gaffe. It was an expression of a belief so deeply held, and so thoroughly validated in the circles in which Romney travels, that it required no fact-checking.