A veteran journalist who enjoys looking at the quirky side of life

R K Nair

Of Palins and Quayles

| Updated on August 12, 2013

A TV interview with a woman candidate of Australia's One Nation Party, in which she mistook Islam for a country, has gone viral on the Net.

Stephanie Banister, 27, who was contesting a seat in Queensland, also confused haram with the Koran and suggested Jews worshipped Jesus Christ.

"I don't oppose Islam as a country, umm, but I do feel that their laws should not be welcome here in Australia," Banister told Seven News.

She was promptly dubbed "Australia's Sarah Palin" and forced to withdraw her candidature from the September 7 national elections.

Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and Republican Vice-Presidential candidate in the 2008 elections, was widely mocked for her gaffes. Her own aides said after the election debacle that she thought Africa was a country.

On October 5, 2008, she called Afghanistan "our neighbouring country" in a speech to American soldiers.

On November 1, 2008, Palin unwittingly took a call from a Canadian comedian posing as French President Nicholas Sarkozy. The fake Sarkozy suggested the pair go hunting together saying, "I just love killing those animals. Mmm, mmm, take away life, that's so fun."

Palin responded: "Well, I think we could have a lot of fun together while we're getting work done. We can kill two birds with one stone that way."

The comedian went on to say that his wife Bruni had written a song for her called Du rouge a levres sur une cochonne (Lipstick on a Pig).

Former US President George W. Bush was well-known for his verbal gaffes that came to be called 'Bushisms'. (It has got to be a budget, there are many figures in it.)

However, Dan Quayle, who was Vide-President under Bush Senior, was better known for his outlandish gaffes. He once gave a welcome speech at a banquet thus: "Welcome to President Bush, Mrs Bush, and my fellow astronauts!"

At a spelling bee contest at an elementary school, Quayle told a child to add an 'e' at the end of 'potato.' Here are some of his hilarious quotes:

"I've made good judgments in the past. I've made good judgments in the future."

"The future will be tomorrow."

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe, we are part of Europe."

"I am not part of the problem. I am Republican."

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls."

"When I have been asked these last weeks who caused the riots and killings in Los Angeles, my answer has been direct and simple: who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame."

"It isn't pollution that's harming our environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."

"(It's) time for the human race to enter the solar system."

Then there's one that rings true in Quayle's case: "People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."

And finally, "I stand by all the misstatements that I've made!"

In a strange, comical way, it's reassuring to learn that we're not the only people saddled with such politicians!

Published on August 12, 2013

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