4 Worst Political Gaffes Made On the Job

Reuters journalist and ShortFormBlog contributor Matthew Keys compiled a hugely entertaining list of the worst political gaffes recently made on the job, which included:

Rick Perry’s Brain Freeze at CNBC’s Republican National Debate

“It’s three agencies of government, when I get (to the White House), that are gone: Commerce, Education and the — what’s the third one there? … I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Oops.”  Uttered in November 2011, this line became the hallmark for the rest of Perry’s presidential nominee campaign.

Joe Biden’s Foot in Mouth Moment with the Affordable Care Act

As Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, the vice president dropped an F bomb on live television, enthusiastically stating that the passage of the bill was a “big f-ing deal.”  It was, of course, the line heard round the world.

Sarah Palin Offends Bostonians’ Sense of History

On her One Nation bus tour, Palin looked like she might have a shot in the race as Republican presidential nominee.  But while campaigning in Boston, once she claimed that the purpose of Paul Revere’s midnight ride was to warn the British that the colonists were armed, arguments against her general intelligence and sanity started up all over again.

Anthony Weiner Lives Up to His Name

When the New York congressman accidentally tweeted a photo of himself in his underwear and was exposed publicly, he was forced to admit to sending explicit messages to a series of women and later resigned his post.

My worst on-the-job political gaffe involved expressing displeasure with the fact that some Chinese still eat dogs while doing a client seminar.  I was telling a story about being served unknown meat in rural China and being worried about picking up my fork.  I didn’t think it was that big of a deal at the time, but apparently a Chinese guy in the audience found the remark offensive.  He complained to my sponsors, and I got a stern talking to and had to apologize profusely.

Have you ever put your foot in your mouth at work, or witnessed someone else implode spectacularly?  What were the consequences and what damage control was necessary?

Alexandra Levit

Alexandra Levit’s goal is to help people find meaningful jobs - quickly and simply - and to succeed beyond measure once they get there. Follow her @alevit.

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