Could a White House spell-off be in the works between President Obama and former Vice President Dan Quayle?
In a throwback to the latter's infamous misspelling of the word "potato," Obama accidentally misspelled "respect" while introducing singer Aretha Franklin during a tribute to "Women of Soul" at the White House Thursday.
“When Aretha first told us what … R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her,” Obama said, pausing briefly before the audience began laughing, apparently realizing his mistake. “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.”
Also looking for some respect is Quayle, who in 1992 was schooled by a sixth grader on how to spell potato.
Quayle was at the Munoz Rivera Elementary School spelling bee in Trenton, N.J., when he relied on a notecard provided by the school on the spelling of the word potato, a word used in the contest. The notecard incorrectly added an “e” to the end of the word, and Quayle advised the student to spell it that way.
In his 1994 autobiography, Quayle called the day “a defining moment of the worst kind imaginable." He added, “Politicians live and die by the symbolic sound bite.”