Top 10 Obama Gaffes

Between Jan. 20 and July 20, 2009

During his first six months in office, President Barack Obama rammed through as much liberal legislation as possible in anticipation of November elections that could alter the face of Congress and remove the 60-vote Senate super-majority that he and the Democrats enjoyed. Along the way, he managed to stick his foot in his mouth, waste untold billions of dollars and embarrass both himself and his country in front of our foreign enemies and friends. Here's a list of President Barack Obama's top gaffes from Jan. 20 to July 20, 2009.

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Misspells "Advice" in Letter to Fan

President Barack Obama's spelling error. Chicago Sun Times

, "Michael -- Thanks so much for the wonderful letter, and the good advise ... "

of 10

Burns 9,000 Gallons of Jet Fuel on Earth Day

President Barack Obama waves as he walks to Air Force One prior to departure from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, April 22, 2009. Saul Loeb/Getty Images

9,000 gallons of fuel on the 895-mile cross-country excursion. The president makes the trip so he can plant a single tree and deliver a speech on the importance of using alternative energy.

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Jabs at Special Olympics on Whirlwind TV Tour

President Barack Obama is seen with host Jay Leno during a taping of "The Tonight Show" at NBC studios in Burbank, Calif. on March 19, 2009. Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

"It's like -- it was like Special Olympics or something," Obama says.

of 10

References Non-Existent "Austrian" Language

President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference in Strasbourg, France, on April 4, 2009 at the conclusion of the NATO summit. Torsten Silz/Getty Images

In response to a question asking what he learned from European leaders, Obama responds, "It was ... interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There's a lot of -- I don't know what the term is in Austrian -- wheeling and dealing ... "

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Fumbles Gift-Giving Exchanges with British Leaders

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama pose with Queen Elizabeth II at a reception at Buckingham Palace on April 1, 2009 in London. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

The queen is said to already own an iPod.

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Delivers Muslim "Love Speech" in Cairo

Palestinian security forces listen to US President Barack Obama as he delivers a speech at Cairo University, at their headquarters in the West Bank city of Jenin on June 4, 2009. Saif Dahlah/Getty Images

around the world.

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Selects Cabinet Nominees With Embarrassing Problems

Tom Daschle, President-elect Barack Obama's nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, perspires profusely during his nomination hearing on Jan. 8, 2009. Daschle later stepped down due to his failure to pay back taxes. Scott J. Ferrell/Getty Images

to have legal problems. Obama gets lucky with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but is not so lucky with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, whose late payments to the IRS raise questions and threaten to derail his confirmation. Meanwhile, the president's other nominees -- all Democrats -- proceed to fall like dominoes. Gov. Bill Richardson withdraws as commerce secretary nominee in the wake of a legal inquiry. Former Sen. Tom Daschle (Health and Human Services), Rep. Hilda Solis (Labor) and Nancy Killefer (Budget and Spending reform) all withdraw because of tax problems.

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As Commander-In-Chief During Wartime, Arranges Romantic Date Night

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk toward Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on May 30, 2009. The Obamas traveled to New York City for their date night. Getty Images

Obama and the secret service arrange "a date night" in New York City, which includes dinner at a posh Manhattan restaurant and a Broadway show. The president comes under fire as the cost of the date is estimated to be anywhere from $23,000 to $40,000. The day of the date, Private first-class Samuel D. Stone dies in a vehicle accident in Iraq. The day before the date, privates Bradley W. Iorio and Thomas E. Lee also die in Iraq. Iorio's death is classified as "non-hostile." Lee's death is listed officially from "wounds suffered when an explosive device struck his vehicle." Four days before the date, as the secret service maps out the trip to New York City, two US airmen and one US soldier die in Afghanistan.

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Bows Deeply to Saudi King Abdullah

President Barack Obama bowing deeply before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on April 2, 2009. John Stillwell/Getty Images

April 2, 2009: clearly bows before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. When queried about the bow later that day in Strasbourg, France, Obama says, "We have to change our behavior in showing the Muslim world greater respect." A week later, after apparently being alerted that the only people who bow before the king are his subjects -- not his peers -- the administration's official line on the bow changes, and White House spokespeople say the president was merely stooping to shake hands with the much-shorter king. This lame excuse irks even the most biased members of the fawning press, who can clearly see the deep bow the president makes in subsequent video clips.

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TelePrompter Overuse Results in Bumbled Oratories

President Barack Obama walks past a teleprompter after addressing the Business Council in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 13, 2009. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

and shatters on the floor as he delivers a speech on the economy at the White House. His continued use of the device prompts some in the media to dub him the "TelePrompter-In-Chief." Off-camera, of course!

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Your Citation
Hawkins, Marcus. "Top 10 Obama Gaffes." ThoughtCo, Sep. 3, 2021, Hawkins, Marcus. (2021, September 3). Top 10 Obama Gaffes. Retrieved from Hawkins, Marcus. "Top 10 Obama Gaffes." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 8, 2023).