Congressman Bill Shuster Misspells United States On His Campaign Banner, & The Worst Political Typos Ever
With midterms just around the corner, politicians across the country are stepping up their campaign game and placing last-minute ads in every nook and cranny of their communities. And as stressful as these last few weeks must be, elected officials should keep in mind that many of these ads are the last voters will see before heading into the polls. As such, spelling the name of your country correctly is probably a good idea. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster missed the memo, writing "Untied States" instead of "United States" on one of his campaign banners. Copy editors, friends, are the best people in the world.
The error was noticed by an Imgur user, who noted that his 11-year-old pointed out the mistake that had gone unnoticed by the 7-term congressman and his entire team. The large blue banner, which hangs proudly from the fence of what appears to be a high school football field, reads in its entirety, "Untied States Congressman Bill Shuster, Proudly Serving The 9th District Of Pennsylvania." Surprisingly, "Pennsylvania" was spelled correctly, which in my mind is a much more challenging word than "united." But maybe we're all just missing out on a very clever joke — perhaps Shuster means to draw attention to the fact that we've become rather untied as a nation, divided by partisanship and endless inter-party bickering.
As embarrassing as these typos may be, they are surprisingly common amongst even the most high-profile of politicians. Here are just a few of my personal favorite political typos that have happened across the years.
Mitt Romney and "Amercia"
You know, the frequency with which the name of this country is misspelled is really pretty shocking. How prepared can you be to lead a nation when you don't even know how to spell it? Back in 2012, Romney's team prepared to celebrate his nomination as the official Republican nominee with the release of a photo app. Unfortunately, the home screen of said app read, "A Better Amercia," then continued, "I'm with Mitt." Amercia would not necessarily be the worst renaming of our country — at least it sounds somewhat dignified, right? But it wasn't the most presidential behavior for the Republican candidate.
Barack Obama and "Oiho"
Mitt Romney's "Amercia" may have cost him the presidential race, but Obama's misspelling of "Ohio" was less costly. I guess when you only offend the voters in one state, it's better than voters in the entire country. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Christopher Maloney, Romney’s Ohio communications director, tweeted a photo of Obama posing, cheerleader-style, with three other men, using their arms to spell out O-H-I-O. The only problem was that they were standing in the wrong order, which meant that the photo made it seem as though Obama and company spelled O-I-H-O. Maybe Obama meant for us to read from right to left.
Cory Booker and "Barak"
It's difficult to endorse someone when you're not entirely sure how to spell their name. In 2012 (which was obviously a terrible year for spellcheck), Cory Booker, who was then the mayor of Newark, took out a full-page ad in the New Jersey directory of delegates in which he urged his colleagues to "Re-Elect President Barak Obama."
Come on, Booker. He'd been the president for four years already! And you still hadn't learned how to spell his name correctly? While Booker also endorsed Senator Bob Menendez, the Democratic Congressional Delegation and Democrats across New Jersey, the president's name was the only one to be misspelled.
Todd Akin and "Your," "You're," And "Your're"
After making incendiary comments about "legitimate rape," Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) had to do some major damage control to assure his constituency that he wasn't a woman-hating monster. And the best way to do so, he thought, would be to ask pro-life voters to sign a petition telling his opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill, that they stood with Todd Akin. Unfortunately for Akin, his foot in mouth syndrome also manifested itself in online typos, and instead of "You're Standing With Todd Akin," the petition read, "Your Standing With Todd Akin."
Akin's team noticed the mistake, and like any responsible adult, made moves to correct it. But somehow, the second iteration of the petition looked even worse, and read "Your're Standing With Todd Akin." At least "your" is a word. What on earth is "Your're" a contraction for? But third time was a charm for the Akin team, and they finally managed to launch a petition that correctly read, "You're Standing With Todd Akin." But after so many mistakes, it is unclear how many people decided to actually stand with him. Akin lost the election to McCaskill.