President Obama Misspells 'Respect,' But At Least It's Not As Bad As 'Potatoe'
Dan Quayle says "potatoe," President Obama says "R-S-P-E-C-T." Though not nearly as embarrassing as former Vice President Quayle's infamous 1992 spelling error, Obama's mistake on Thursday while toasting Aretha Franklin at a Women of Soul concert certainly did give us a blast from the past. Said Obama at the podium:
When Aretha first told us what... R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her, 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.
The room erupted in laughs upon hearing Obama's gaffe, but the president stayed on script, instead maintaining focus on the woman of the hour. (Watch video of the moment here.) And, quite honestly, if Obama had to misspell a word in order to bring more attention to Franklin and her influence on both music and progressive attitudes, well, then that's a pretty good strategery, isn't it?
Either way, though Obama gave us a spelling Merriam-Webster would never agree with, he ended the portion of the speech with a sentiment that anyone watching can hop on board with.
Later, when somebody asked her why it has such an impact, she said, "I guess everybody just wants a little bit of respect."
And the 18-time Grammy winning, inauguration scene-stealing Franklin certainly commands that. When we tell her that what we want, baby she's got it, we're not just talking about her hat.