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Obama’s misspells word ‘respect’ in tribute to Aretha Franklin

Obama
Obama
ABC News screen grab

How do you spell respect? The president spells it “R-S-P-E-C-T.” Or at least he did last night during the latest instalment of the concert series, “In Performance at the White House.” This one was a tribute to “Women of Soul,” and Aretha Franklin herself was on hand to witness Obama’s mangling of the title of her signature anthem.

In the video, which can be viewed here, the musicologist in chief seems to catch himself but decides to continue on amid titters from the audience, telling them:

When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her, she had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African Americans, and women, and then everyone who felt marginalized because of what they looked like or who they loved. They wanted some respect.

What all this signifies of course is nothing. People stumble and misspeak. Perhaps the flub would have gone unnoticed were it not for…

P.S. Obama had better get his act and pronunciation guide together before the next installment of “In Performance at the White House,” which will feature works by Antonin Dvořák.

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