I just spoke with a reader who thinks that The Star should write about several recent mistakes that Barack Obama has made recently while speaking: Citing the wrong name for a Nazi concentration camp that a relative helped free, giving the wrong number of states in the U.S., or referring to Memorial Day as Veterans Day.

The caller correctly notes that much has been made of both Presidents Bush and their problems with public speaking over the years.  With George W., it's such a foregone conclusion that he has trouble speaking publicly that he himself makes jokes about it. 

In general, though, I don't particularly think that mistakes in speaking are much in the way of news, especially when it's extemporaneous speech.  Almost nobody in the country gets more scrutiny than presidents and presidential candidates.  Clearly, Obama knows how many states there are.  And for all the Democrats quick to make fun of George W. Bush's pronunciation of "nuclear," there certainly are millions of others -- including former president Jimmy Carter -- who say the word exactly the same way.  As for myself, I have a number of words that always seem to trip my own tongue up.

At any rate, Obama's verbal miscues might make for a good opinion column topic, but I think many readers would see bias in a news story on the subject.

 

UPDATE: Whoops -- I didn't even notice that "The Buzz" on Page A-2 today mentions one of these incidents.  Doesn't bother me there, as that's a collection of oddities from the political world.