No Harm, No Foul in Obama's McConnell Name Fumble

Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 03:33 PM

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What’s a botched name among political adversaries? President Barack Obama got off easily on Monday for calling Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “Mike” in remarks praising the Kentucky Republican for his help in passing legislation, according to the Washington Wire political blog in The Wall Street Journal. Although the two politicians have had distant if not hostile relations, a McConnell spokesman said the presidential gaffe was no big deal.

Barack O'Bama, Mitch McConnell, name,“In fact,” said McConnell staffer Don Stewart, “the first time he ran for office (in 1984), President Reagan in a Louisville speech referred to him as ‘my good friend Mitch O’Donnell.’ So he’s used to it.” Besides, it was a slip rather than a slight, he said, so there’s no cause for offense.

Obama was talking about legislation that funds children’s nutrition programs when he mistakenly name-checked “Sen. Mike McConnell, the ranking Republican who helped facilitate the smooth passage of this bill.”

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