Obama/Osama slip befalls Congressional security guru

May 06, 2011|By Laura Vozzella

Et tu, Dutch?

Count Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger -- senior Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, one of just eight lawmakers briefed on the nation's biggest security secrets -- among those who keep saying "Obama" when they mean "Osama."

He made the slip twice in the space of an hour Friday during an appearance at the Oak Crest Retirement Community in Baltimore County, The Sun's Yeganeh June Torbati reports.

"If Obama only knew how much he has affected our country -- he has cost us billions of dollars," Ruppersberger said at one point, referring to the economic impact of the war on terrorism.

The first time Ruppersberger slipped up, there were a few mutters in the crowd. The second time, seniors in the audience promptly corrected him, loudly calling out, “Osama!"

Ruppersberger is hardly the only person to get tripped up on the names. It has happened often enough in the past week that Psychology Today ran a piece wondering: "Do Obama/Osama slips of the tongue reveal racist attitudes?"

Luckily for Ruppersberger and everyone else who has made the slip, the conclusion was this: Obama and Osama are really, really similar names.

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