What you call a mistake, your enemies call a lie: A cautionary tale

Some speechwriters are better fact-checkers than others. It appears that Michelle Obama’s speechwriter—the one who wrote what I thought was an intellectually dishonest address in support of Chicago’s failed Olympic bid—also blew at least one plain fact.

Some of my best memories are sitting on my dad’s lap, cheering on Olga and Nadia, Carl Lewis, and others for their brilliance and perfection. Like so many young people, I was inspired. I found myself dreaming that maybe, just maybe, if I worked hard enough, I, too, could achieve something great.

As conservative bloggers gleefully point out, Mrs. Obama would have been a 20-year-old college student when Carl Lewis was running in the Olympics in 1984, and, at 12, too old to be sitting in her dad’s lap when Nadia triumphed in 1976. Olga is more like it.

Speechwriters everywhere will groan that this was just sloppy.

Michelle’s enemies won’t be so charitable. Enemies rarely are.

That’s why it’s so important to check your facts.

Hat tip to New York Speechwriters Roundtable boss Dana Rubin for IDing this teapot and spotting the tempest within.

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