Top Ten Political Faux Pas of the 2000s

By Samantha Schoenfeld

1. The Warm State of Florida Decided to Hand Our Country to George W. Bush

In the closest presidential election since 1876, Republican George W. Bush defeated Democrat Al Gore to win the title of the 43rd president of the United States of America. However, the results were of much controversy, especially in the state of the elderly where punching a ballot appears to have been a difficult task. Florida had to recount its 25 electoral votes, and even after this laborious debacle the constitutionality of extending the voting turn-in deadline and whether hand-counting ballots was valid was contested. In the end, the electoral votes went to Bush. Despite loosing the popular vote to Gore, Bush still won the contest. Clearly the presidency is not like a high school popularity contest.

2. Former White House Press Secretary (for Bush) Dana Perino Seemed to Forget the Most Impressive Thing Her Boss Did – Help This country After 9/11

As George W. Bush’s Press Secretary, one would think apart of the job description is keeping up to date with the news, especially news involving one’s boss. Apparently Dana Perino missed the memo. When interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News, Perino asserted that there had not been a terrorist attack during Bush’s reign as Commander-in-Chief. Maybe she was asleep during the 8 a.m. falling of the Twin Towers on 9/11/01, or when anthrax was believed to be in every envelope delivered to one’s mailbox, or when airports started demanding the removal of shoes during security check-ins after Richard Reid’s attempted shoe-bomb attack. Perhaps she should invest in a working alarm clock.

3. Bush’s Mission … It Was Accomplished? Really?

On May 1, 2003 then current President George W. Bush disembarked the U.S.S Abraham Lincoln, a Navy ship that was deployed in the beginning stages of the Iraq War. Landing on the ship from a jet, Bush walked down the plank and gave a speech under a sign reading “Mission Accomplished,” essentially signifying the end of the Iraq War. Attention ex-President Bush: it is 2010 and we are still deploying troops to Iraq. Mission (NOT) accomplished.

4. John Edwards Cheating on Elizabeth, and Spawning a Daughter

After your wife has stood by you through your late night working hours, empty political promises, and is then diagnosed with terminal cancer, what do you do to repay her? Well, if you are former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards you sleep with your former campaign videographer, Rielle Hunter and father a daughter named Frances Quinn. Then you push the child off on your friend and employee, Andrew Young, and (possibly) steal campaign donations to pay for child support all to keep this huge lie under wraps. Welcome to the husband hall of fame, Mr. Edwards.

5. Foreign Policy is Defined by Proximity, According to Sarah Palin

The icing on the cake in the interview between then vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and CBS News Anchor Katie Couric was Palin’s statement that she has a lot of experience with foreign policy because of her state’s proximity to Russia. Although Alaska is neighbored by Russia and Canada (kudos on your handle on geography Ms. Palin!), the densest populated area of Russia, namely around Moscow, is almost equidistant from Anchorage, Alaska as it is from New York City. And since Alaska doesn’t deal with either foreign country on a more regular basis than other states, it is necessary to say that she probably is not capable of dealing with foreign issues. Maybe you should just start reading a newspaper Sarah.

6. Vice President Dick Cheney Missed the Duck, and Hit 78-year-old Texas Lawyer Harry Whittington

On his down time from serving as the Vice President, Richard “Dick” Cheney went for a hunt with Harry Whittington to find some quail. Whittington bent down, Cheney spun around, and the shot knocked Whittington over.

7. The Terminator Governor Didn’t Know the Definition of “Gay”

Apparently California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger thinks that, “gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” Unfortunately, the definition of gay marriage is a union of two people of the same sex. Enough said.

8. Condoleezza Rice Thinks She’s Married…to George W. Bush

Apparently the former national security advisor was just feeling lonely one evening. At a dinner hosted by New York Times bureau chief Philip Taubman and his wife, New York Times reporter Felicity Barringer, Condoleezza Rice was telling a story, and slipped by saying, “as I was telling my husb…” before correcting herself to say “President Bush.” Watch out Laura Bush!

9. Howard Dean Has a Scream

After coming in third at the Iowa caucus in the 2004 presidential election, Howard Dean gave his concession speech. Amid overpowering cheers from the crowd, Dean screamed into his one-way microphone to the television networks that he would travel to thirteen states – from South Carolina to New Mexico and back to Washington D.C. to take over the White House. Ending his rant with a croaking, elongated “YEAAAHHHHHHH” that was later entitled the “Dean Scream,” the clip played on television 633 times in the four days following the event. Not including talk shows and the local news, this staggering number begs the question of how news worthy is the screeching of a failed candidate? Evidently, if an event occurs on Martin Luther King Day and has a moniker that rhymes with MLK’s famous speech, it is a highly important piece of news.

10. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford Went Hiking, Along His Extra-Marital Mistress’ Mountains

Mark Sanford, the former Governor of South Carolina, told his wife and staff that he was hiking along the Appalachian Mountains. However, he was exploring the mountainous range of his Argentinian mistress Maria Chapur. After eight years of knowing and messing around with Chapur, Sanford fell out of love with his wife of twenty years and family and in love with the other woman. He also admitted to crossing lines with other women, although to a lesser degree than with Chapur. So much for trusting politicians.

Samantha Schoenfeld works as the Web editor at The Student Voice. She is a sophomore magazine journalism major at SU.


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