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WH transcript scrubs Obama's botched 'respect' misspelling
The White House stenographer appears to have given President Obama a little too much "respect."
Introducing soul legend Aretha Franklin at a White House performance Thursday night, the president flubbed the spelling of her signature song.
"When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her..." Obama said, prompting laughter from the crowd.
The president's face betrayed that he had misspelled the anthem, but he did not stop to correct himself before adding that Franklin "had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African-Americans, and women, and then everyone who felt marginalized because of what they looked like or who they loved.
"They wanted some respect," Obama said. "Later, when somebody asked her why it had such an impact, she said, 'I guess everybody just wants a little respect.' Today, they still do."
But anyone reading the official transcript of the event provided by the White House would have had no idea of the president's mistake. In that version, the president correctly spells out the word.
"When Aretha first told us what "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." meant to her, she had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African Americans, and women, and then everyone who felt marginalized because of what they looked like or who they loved," the White House transcript reads.
It's not the first time the official White House transcript has edited presidential misstatements. During the state visit of French President François Hollande last month, Obama referred to French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville as "Alex." But the White House transcript released shortly after used the Frenchman's correct first name.
Critics of the Bush administration accused the White House of altering a 2005 transcript of a briefing with former press secretary Scott McClellan, who was asked about whether Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, an adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney, had conversations about former CIA officer Valerie Plame.
Independent transcription services Congressional Quarterly and Federal News Service transcribed McClellan as answering, "that's accurate," but the official White House transcript claimed the spokesman answered, "I don't think that's accurate."