President Barack Obama committed a blooper on Thursday night when he was talking about Aretha Franklin and her most popular song “Respect.” He spelled out the word “respect” as Franklin does in her iconic song but doesn’t spell it correctly. Obama spelled it “r-s-p-e-c-t,” according to a CBS news report on Friday.
Such a slip of the tongue would likely not make the news if anyone but Obama or, perhaps, Vice President Joe Biden had done it. But when the president does it, it makes the news. Remember when Dan Quayle misspelled potato as p-o-t-a-t-o-e? Of course, people remember that. Obviously, presidents and vice presidents have to watch their “e” when they spell. After all, while Obama dropped an “e” in “respect,” Quayle added an “e” to potato.
Obama made the error at the White House on Thursday night when he was speaking before an audience about the “women of soul” – specifically Franklin. At the event, there were such soul-singing female stars as Patti LaBelle, Franklin, and Ariana Grande.
It has been noted that the White House's transcription of Obama' words at the event edited the error out and spelled "respect" correctly.
He called Franklin’s song “Respect” a rallying cry for African-Americans, women and then everyone who felt marginalized. Of the blooper, he specifically said, “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. Later, when somebody asked her why it had such an impact, she said, ‘I guess everybody just wants a little respect.’ Today, they still do.”
The event, which also included Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott and Tessanne Chin, was part of the celebration of “Women’s History Month” and will be televised on PBS on April 7.