Gaffes: A Typology

Gaffes by politicians have been with us a long time, but during a lackluster and overlong campaign season, they loom large. (Perhaps it helps that they are usually short enough to fit in a tweet, and thus go viral at the speed of light?)

Commentator Paul Waldman has a nice rundown of gaffes by category, and some speculations on their possible impact. He misses my fave of late, not by a politician, but from another category of paragon of public life, the major league baseball player. Remember Ozzie Guillén? who back in April decided Miami would be a good audience to express his grudging admiration for Fidel Castro.

Ozzie knew better (outrageous comments are part of his brand) but we do now all live in the era of “is this thing on?

The “country” where Reagan probably thought everyone spoke “Latin.”
And another wonderful one from Reagan: “Well, I learned a lot… I went down to Latin America to find out from them and (learn) their views. You’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries.”

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