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He Probably Didn’t Mean It, But…

Poor Mitt Romney. They certainly took him out to the backyard and beat the bejesus out of him after his “I like to fire people” gaffe last week.
But come on, now – I doubt that he meant it, at least not in the way that it was subsequently twisted and exploited by everyone from his GOP opponents to Weird Al Yankovic. Still, the guy’s running for President of the United States and should know better – and therein lie a couple of powerful lessons for all of us:
1. When you’re speaking in public, think about what you’re going to say, practice out loud beforehand, and don’t wing it. Sure, be spontaneous within reason – but if you have the slightest inkling that you shouldn’t say what you think what you’re about to say, don’t.
2. The microphone is always on. Of course Mitt was onstage in front of a crowd when he put his foot in it, but even in less formal situations, always assume that you should watch what you say. This is particularly true in the age of social media, when you can be recorded and uploaded by anyone with an iPhone.
So will this incident derail Romney’s campaign? Naah. But a similar indiscretion might cramp your style.

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Corey McCarren

I don’t foresee any changes in the way things will turn out in these primaries/caucuses, it’s late in the game even if mistakes are made. I think that the biggest gaffe by a candidate was Huntsman speaking Mandarin during a debate. I personally think it’s awesome that he can speak it, but many primary voters don’t for reasons I don’t understand. Either way, I think it slowed down his momentum just enough to take him out of the race.

Joshua Salmons

It does routinely surprise me how many “duh!” gaffes happen to people on the national stage. Every few weeks it seems, I see some video or clip of a state or national leader/legislator making some snide, obscene or sometimes lewd comment at a town hall, lawmaking session or large speech venue. The excuse usually is “I didn’t know the microphone was on.” I can understand…to a point. Yes, microphones are tricky things, but the fact that you were talking about your spanking episode with your mistress on the floor of the state legislature means there were also other errors in judgement.