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Jay Carney

Unforced errors or tactical mistakes?

Unforced errors or tactical mistakes?

Political pundits like to label gratuitous political gaffes as "unforced errors" — mistakes that come out of right field without warning or reason. These events are given extra analysis because they are unexpected and uncalled for — usually offhand or just plain unthinking statements or actions that enjoy a long shelf life in this social media and cable television driven world. Many conservatives misinterpret the president's — and his surrogates' — consistent, predictable actions as examples of such unforced errors. To wit: "You didn't build that." was not a rhetorical mistake by the president, but rather an indictment of...