While reading a story about historical experts corroborating Sarah Palin, I ran across this in the LA Times. We've all heard about how stupid Dan Quayle was for not knowing how to spell "potato," right? I've never heard the rest of that story until now:
A classic example of this faux faux pas was in 1992 when Vice President Dan Quayle agreed to participate in a New Jersey classroom spelling bee.
Working from a placard, Quayle corrected one sixth-grader by telling him to add an "e" to "potato." Journalists gleefully noted the spelling misteak. And Quayle's dunce hat was glued in place.
Trouble is, that mis-spelled placard was actually written out by the classroom teacher herself, either through her own ignorance or, a few suspect, some sly political set-up. Quayle knew he hadn't written it and thought the error was the point of the lesson.
And because the classroom spelling bit was a last-minute addition, aides who would have foreseen the everlasting damage of their boss inexplicably adding a mistake to a student's work did not know what the placard said. Quayle subsequently forbade them from explaining the error to the media, for fear of embarrassing the teacher.
Wow. Much different story than was portrayed in the media at the time. Shameful. This guy's life was ruined because of this.