Press Continues to Virtually Ignore Michelle Obama's Campaign Speech Gaffes

October 25th, 2014 9:20 AM

One can only imagine how much grief the national press would have given Laura Bush had she gone on the midterm congressional campaign trail during her husband's presidency and mispronounced the name of a Republican senatorial candidate, or if she had presented part of the bio of a Democratic opponent as that of the incumbent Republican for whom she was stumping.

First Lady Michelle Obama has done both things — reversing parties, of course — in recent weeks. The national press is largely pretending that these things never happened, and, when they do notice the gaffes, making excuses for her.

Mrs. Obama has mispronounced the Democrats' candidate for U.S. Senate in Iowa, Bruce Braley, as "Bailey." This week, she claimed that Colorado incumbent Mark Udall is a fifth-generation Coloradan. No ma'am, that would be Cory Gardner, Udall's Republican challenger.

Well, at least the White House isn't pretending that the gaffes never happened. Mrs. Obama's "fifth generation" flub is present in the transcript of her Friday Denver speech. That's in stark contrast to President Barack Obama's "joke" about having "unpaid bills" on his desk back in Chicago when he returned there earlier this week; the official White House transcript of the President's speech still acts as if that clearly heard remark was "inaudible."

Mrs. Obama's Colorado gaffe appears to have been mentioned in only 17 news sources tracked by Google News. Most of those listed are center-right blogs and outlets. At one of the exceptions, Justin Sink at the Hill actually gave credence to Democrats' laughable contention that it really wasn't a mistake:

Michelle Obama's misstep in Colorado?

First lady Michelle Obama's foray onto the campaign trail hit another bump Thursday, when she identified Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) as "a fifth-generation Coloradan."

"As a fifth-generation Coloradan, Mark understands what makes this state special," the first lady said during a campaign rally in Denver. "He understands the values of independence and fairness, all the things here folks believe in."

The only problem: Udall was actually born in Tucson, Ariz., where his father, Rep. Mo Udall (D-Ariz.), represented the state in Congress for 30 years.

Udall's opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), has made a point of emphasizing on the campaign trail that his family's Colorado roots extend five generations back.

The comment was quickly noted by reporters on the ground, and highlighted in a web video from the Republican National Committee.

Udall's campaign, however, insists it was not a mistake.

They say that although Udall was born in Arizona and lived there through high school, his mother was a fourth generation Coloradan.

The campaign also noted that Udall's parents met when his father played for the Denver Nuggets. The congressman appeared on the team's roster during the 1948-49 season.

The first lady, who has been campaigning hard for Democrats in close Senate races, has come under fire for a series of missteps on the trail.

The last excerpted sentence is barely true, because the press is rarely reporting their existence.

As to the Democrats' pathetic attempts at defense:

  • "Fourth generation" is not "fifth generation," and Udall's mom doesn't get to substitute her lineage for his lack of residency.
  • Where his parents met is irrelevant.
  • A mushy Denver Post profile in 2008 said that "Udall moved to Colorado in his mid-20s, paying the rent by shoveling snow from roofs of houses in Crested Butte and courting his soon-to-be wife, Maggie Fox." 

As would be expected, coverage of Mrs. Obama's Colorado misadventures at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, does not mention the gaffe at all.

Cross-posted at