In slip up, Palin calls Afghanistan “our neighboring country”

October 6, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO – Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin called Afghanistan “our neighboring country” on Sunday in a speech that could revive questions over her tendency to stumble into linguistic knots.rtx95kp.jpg

Three days after a mostly gaffe-free debate performance, the Alaska governor fumbled during a speech in which she praised U.S. soldiers for “fighting terrorism and protecting us and our democratic values”.

“They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan,” she told several hundred supporters at a fundraising event in San Francisco.

The gaffe could add fuel to comedians and late-night talk show hosts who have seized on her linguistic infelicities to portray her as someone not to be taken seriously.

Later in a speech in Omaha, Neb., Palin poked a little fun at herself when talking about one comedian in particular — actress Tina Fey whose dead-on impression of Palin’s looks, voice and body language has been a hit.

Fey, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Palin, has parodied her as a rambling, perky politician unfamiliar with world issues for three straight weeks on the comedy show “Saturday Night Live”.

“I was just trying to give Tina Fey more material — job security for Saturday Night Live,” Palin said.

The skits have become a sensation since an awkward interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric in which Palin failed to coherently express her views about Russia, the U.S. government’s $700 billion financial bailout package, and the newspapers or magazines she reads.

In recent days, the 44-year-old self-described “hockey mom” has described the Couric interview as “less than successful”, and apologized to crowds of supporters for her shaky performance, saying she was “annoyed” and “impatient” because she wanted to talk about other issues like energy independence.

Palin’s opponent, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, has also committed high-profile gaffes, including claiming in a recent interview that President Franklin D. Roosevelt calmed fears in a TV address at the beginning of the Great Depression. There was no TV in 1929 — Roosevelt wasn’t president at the time. 

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

- Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (A Palin supporter at a rally in Denver last week.)


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I am a bit confused why she is allowed to run for VP when she and her husband have been working to split Alaska off from the United States. She has engaged in treason and attempted to start a Civil war in the US.

This is serious stuff. Less than a year ago she was the opening speaker at the Alaska Independence Party’s convention, and she did this as Governor of Alaska. In the opening address she said she was proud of the work they were doing to secede and had her full support.

I mean really people. I wonder what people would say if Barack Obama only last year had tried to pass legislation that allowed Illinois to become it’s own country. Would we laugh him out of office or put him in jail?

I have to also wonder how the Palin’s (with the help of huge teams of Republican lawyers) can simply decide on their own that they are above the law and don’t have to respond to subpoena’s. Todd Palin has ignored two .. and finally relented to letting the McCain lawyers answer one of them in writing. I mean what? Again I have to ask .. if Obama and his family had been issues two subpoena’s for alleged corruption and he said, “I do not recognize the authority of the US Justice system in this matter.” what would we do? Would we vote for him, laugh him out of this race, or would he be in jail. I’m thinking jail and that is what would happen to any other American in this country. We would be in jail.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Palin sounds like she’s taking a page out of G.W.’s playbook by pretending to be less intelligent than she really is so that she would be underestimated. The remark sounds so obviously incorrect, even for her, and obviously forced.

Posted by Judy | Report as abusive

Good for you Dems, you say we need something fresh and not tainted by politics. But then you turn around and look at someone not tainted by Washington and slam her for not being experienced? Palin has more political experience than Obama. He only has 2 years in the senate, and 2 years of running for President. Even Biden said Obama was inexperienced.

Then you claim that Bush ruined America? Why does a Dem controlled congress have a lower aproval rating than Bush? That Dem controlled congress is probably more to blame about our current conditions than Bush, you all give him way more credit than he is due.

I’ll be honest, I don’t like McCain or Obama. One is a bit old, differs on a some core values than me, the other is inexperienced and thinks campiagning in other countries has some sort of value to us the American public. Neither is a great choice, neither is even a good choice. But the same as 8 and 4 years ago, which is the lesser of two evils.

Posted by dwmt | Report as abusive

We all try to have friends that know something more than we do. I mean it’s cool to make friends with common interests but it is natural for one to have a friend you can learn from. I just don’t see that I can learn anything from Palin. I mean I love the out doors and I suppose she could give me a 101 tips on making my way through the wonderfully beautiful Alaska outback but… She just isn’t the kind of person I’d like to invite to my house for diner. One of those long dinners that you wind up talking about everything under the sun and you laugh, argue, drink and at the end of it all you are better friends than before. I just would not be able to put her on my wish list of people to share a meal with.

Posted by Sebastian | Report as abusive

You want to know who the real Sarah Palin is, and why she’s here?

“Mad Dog Palin: The full Story” ry/23318320/mad_dog_palin

Posted by Wendy | Report as abusive

I don’t know about the rest of you but I would rather watch Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin playing Sarah Palin any day of the week.

Posted by lifeisfantastic | Report as abusive

I want McCain and Biden to run the country. Obama and Palin are inexperienced and have never played where it counts!

Posted by Bill Aronson | Report as abusive

For some added information, you know to know a little more about what’s going on between Biden and Palin as far as wrong comments . . .,2933,4333 14,00.html

Posted by dwmt | Report as abusive

To those who say they like Palin because she “seems so real,” like such a “real person”… come on, get over it. Do we really want someone with an average intelligence at best to help run this country? It’s absolutely irresponsible to vote for someone who “seems cool.” You have to think about the fate of the nation, not just who you want to hang out with. Frankly, I need someone who’s MUCH smarter than I am to run this country, to lead us in the right direction, not towards the aimless Right.

Posted by CP | Report as abusive

Linguistic infelicity…nice…

Posted by rabridevi | Report as abusive

Palin is an idiot, and you are too if you somehow feel she deserves to be VP. We don’t need any more phoney ‘real’ people as politicians. We need smart, able, mature, educated, thoughtful, competent leaders. To all those who wish for ‘ordinary’ politicians, I have one question: when you go to the doctor, do you want someone of ‘ordinary’ ability? Of course not – you want the best person available.

Posted by KURT | Report as abusive

It would all be very funny if this woman wasn’t a candidate for vice president of the United States. The situation is just too serious. I have lost my ability to see the funny side.

How about we focus less on her cutesy, folksy gaffes and more on her inciting violence against Obama. Or her husband’s membership in, and her support of, a party that wants alaska to secede from the union.

If Michelle Obama belonged to a black separatist party, we’d never hear the end of it!

Posted by ron ray | Report as abusive

Not sure what McCain was thinking. When this election is over and Obama has won, it would be for the following reasons:

1. Economy, which is not his fault but he belongs to the party in power.

2. Iraq War, i.e., decision to go to the war in the first place and his continued insistence that he will stay there.

3. Sarah Palin. He would have done so much better picking someone like Bobby Jindal. I would have voted for him but now my decision to vote for Obama is a no brainer.

Posted by Dimos | Report as abusive

I don’t want my leaders to be like me; I demand them to be better than me. With the salaries/benefits we pay them, I want my money’s worth!

And if Sarah Palin is the new voice of the right, I’m going to invest in an earplug company.

Case in point:
“I’m not saying that he’s dishonest,” Palin said on the flight from Pensacola, Fla., to Greenville, “but in terms of judgment and in terms of being able to answer questions forthrightly, it has two different parts to this, that judgment and that truthfulness and just being able to answer very candidly a simple question about when did you know him, how did you know him, has been there been an association continued since ’02 or ’05. We’ve heard a couple of different stories. I think it’s relevant.”

Posted by Laura | Report as abusive

If her finger ever ends up on the “nookular” button, let’s hope her grasp of geography is better than this gaffe suggests. Otherwise, I’d be very worried if I were Canadian.

Anyway, here’s another Palin joke for your entertainment:

A couple of Palin supporters are out hunting in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes have rolled back in his head.

The other guy whips out his mobile phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?”

The operator, in a soothing voice, says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.”

There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy’s voice comes back on the line. He says: “OK, now what?”

Posted by Alex | Report as abusive

The Republicans are promoting Palin similar to how they promoted Bush in ’00 and ’04. The home town, BBQ/beer guzzling average “Joe”. We have all seen how well that panned out.

Posted by Independent Voter | Report as abusive

I love how the right wingers are quick to point fingers at a ‘leftist media’…this isn’t a biased portrayal? The slip up AT BEST reveals her inability to communicate and at worst reveals her understanding of geography…frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised at the latter given her very recent acquisition of a PASSPORT.

you can complain all you want, media this and media that, then go back to watching your fair and balanced FOX (lol). Palin is not qualified, of course we should be emphasizing her goofs, so people can understand her scant knowledge on important issues….like the cause of global warming, political events in the middle east, etc. etc.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Palin comes across as not just brassy and immature but also incoherent and uninformed. Bit sad that McCain couldn’t find a more appropriate running mate.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

In much the way that better-knowing-people compromised any intergrity they once had to ‘toe the party line’ in electing the very un-electable George Bush to office TWICE, many of those same apologists are providing the very same sort of support to another mental midget, Simple Sarah.
Hopefully, enough of them rue their decisions of old to do the right thing this time around.
Obama/Biden ’08!

Posted by Anthony | Report as abusive

This is a no brainer. To appreciate Sara Palin you would first have to enjoy conservative values. Small government, personal responsibility, a love for our country and a strong sense of moral values. If this is where you stand you love Sara Palin. If you desire a large socialist government, Government to take control of your life, a dislike for our country and a life with no moral boundaries then Joe Biden is the VP for you. How simple can it get.

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive