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Michelle Obama makes a Chicahgah kind of mistake

January 18, 2008 | 11:18 pm

Michelle Obama has clearly become very comfortable as co-campaigner with her husband, Barack. This morning, according to The Times' Seema Mehta, she confidently bounded onto the gym stage at a morning rally at the University of Nevada's Reno campus.

"Your Love is Lifting Me Higher" was booming out, and the crowd of way more than 1,000 potential caucus-goers roared.

"Hey! Wow! Look at all these folks," Obama said. "Where did you come from? It is so nice to be back in Nevada! We are so happy to be here!" But, suddenly,....

the crowd turned less friendly, audibly grumbling and groaning. Michelle immediately realized her mistake and covered her face.

She had mispronounced the name of the state as Nuh-VAH-duh, which many people passing through do innocently enough, which annoys the heck out of Nevadans and which really embarrasses candidates who are asking Nuh-VAD-uhns for their votes. That's the correct pronounciation, in case you're ever there running for president: Nuh-VAD-uh.

"Nevada, Nevada, Nevada, Nevada, Nevada!" Obama repeated correctly. "Oh, noooooo! I've been in South Carolina too long!" And the crowd started cheering. "It's nice to be here in Ne-VAD-a! Nevada, Nevada, Nevada!"

"I know how to bounce back from my mistakes," she added.

Indeed she does. At the Obamas' second event of the day, in Elko High School, Michelle Obama gave the same introduction of her husband, saying how happy she was to be "here." But she never got around to uttering the state's name either way.

Now we can't wait until the campaign visits Missourah.

--Andrew Malcolm

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