Mitt Romney botched his introduction of his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, on Saturday morning, but the Republican has good company. Candidate Barack Obama also gave his running mate, Joe Biden, an inadvertent "promotion" four years ago when he introduced the Delaware senator at a rally in Springfield, Ill.
The earlier Obama flub suggests that Romney’s gaffe, as awkward as it appeared on live television, will not have any long-term effect on the Republican ticket, nor will some other incongruous bits of stagecraft in the Romney-Ryan roll out.
In introducing Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, in front of the battleship Wisconsin on Saturday morning, Romney said: “Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan.” Ryan came to take the microphone, but Romney quickly returned and added: “Every now and then I’m known to make a mistake. I did not make a mistake with this guy. But I can tell you this, he’s going to be the next vice president of the United States.”
Speaking at his own late-August VP rollout in 2008, then-Sen. Obama said: “Let me introduce to you, the next president -- the next vice president -- of the United States, Joe Biden.” Obama’s misstep was slightly less awkward because he caught himself immediately. But give both men this consideration: Both Obama and Romney had become accustomed to hearing themselves introduced, at rally after rally, as the next president (without the vice) and the rhythm of the remark must have become embedded in their gray matter.