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A political gaffe is an error in speech made by a politician.
A Kinsley gaffe occurs when a political gaffe reveals some truth that a politician did not intend to admit. The term comes from journalist Michael Kinsley, who said, "A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth - some obvious truth he isn't supposed to say."
The term gaffe may be used to describe an inadvertent statement by a politician that the politician believes is true while the politician has not fully analyzed the consequences of publicly stating it. Another definition is a statement made when the politician privately believes it to be true, realizes the dire consequences of saying it, and yet inadvertently utters, in public, the unutterable. Another definition is a politician's statement of what is on his or her mind--this may or may not be inadvertent--thereby leading to a ritualized 'gaffe dance' between candidates. While exhibiting umbrage or shock, and playing on the mistake, the 'offended candidate' must not exhibit anything resembling glee. A propensity to concentrate on so-called 'gaffes' in campaigns has been criticized as a journalistic device that can lead to distraction from real issues.[A] The Kinsley gaffe is said to be a species of the general 'political gaffe.'
Kinsley himself posed the question: "Why should something a politician says by accident automatically be taken as a better sign of his or her real thinking than something he or she says on purpose?"
Steven Pinker says that politicians use vague and indirect language to avoid making concrete statements, and that lazy journalists base political coverage around "gaffe spotting" rather than analysis of political platforms.
On August 12, 2013, at a Liberal Party function in Melbourne as part of the 2013 Federal Election campaign, Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, criticising Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, said "No one, however smart, however well-educated, however experienced, is the suppository of all wisdom." The word he meant was "repository".
The Central Election Commission showed Ilham Aliyev to be winning with 72.76% of the vote via the Commission's official smartphone app a day before voting had even started for the 2013 elections.
Maine governor Paul LePage, in vetoing a bill that would have made Narcan available to save addicts from overdoses, stated that the drug "does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose".
Donald Trump's statement, "It has not been easy for me... My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars".
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's roll-out of her Green New Deal resolution, which her office pulled from her website and stated that the "wrong version" was uploaded. It called for payments to those "unable or unwilling to work," the phasing out of all air travel, and rebuilding every structure in the United States to comply with new environmental standards.
During the tenth 2020 Democratic presidential debate immediately prior to that year's South Carolina primary, candidate Michael Bloomberg nearly stated that he "bought" 21 congressional seats that contributed to the Democrats gaining control of the House of Representatives.
During a political rally, Joe Biden said "poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids"
^Petersen, Lilli (April 21, 2016). "Maine Governor Blocks Addicts From Buying Lifesaving Drugs". New York Times. Retrieved 2016. In his veto letter, LePage, who is a Republican, said that naloxone "does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose. ... Creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other produces a sense of normalcy and security around heroin use that serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction," LePage wrote.