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John McCain's repeated geographic challenge

John McCain might need a new map.

He keeps mentioning Czechoslovakia –- a country that hasn’t existed since 1993 –- as if it still did.
In an interview in Phoenix on Monday, McCain told a reporter, “I’m concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days; one was reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia.”

Oops. It happens to them all.

Czechoslovakia was split into two countries –- Slovakia and the Czech Republic –- 14 years ago, after the communist government was overthrown in the Velvet Revolution.

McCain, who likes to tout his foreign policy savvy, made the same mistake at a town hall meeting in New Mexico on Tuesday. And he’s done it before.

Three months ago, McCain told Don Imus that he would "work closely with Czechoslovakia and Poland and other countries" to install the European missile defense system in Poland.

And during a GOP debate in October, McCain said, "The first thing I would do is make sure that we have a missile defense system in place in Czechoslovakia and Poland." Our blogging colleague Elizabeth Snead over at Dish Rag has a fun version of this story and a better picture.

Being on the campaign trail seems to do things to your mind, including impose fatigue regardless of age. Not too long ago Barack Obama talked about having visited 57 of the 58 states and then bounced onto a stage in Sioux Falls and yelled, "Hello, Sioux City!"

-- Kate Linthicum

Comments () | Archives (3)

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He was just trying to be hip and go "Retro" on us.

Wow, big news. So he calls it Czechoslovakia instead of the Czech Republic...guess that disqualifies McCain from being president.

By the way, he was in Phoenix this time and New Mexico one other time when he said it. But, do you know which of the 58 states he was in when he first made this error?!

I can't believe this guy is actually considered to have the qualifications to be president.

He has made so many mistakes in areas of foreign policy.

He is the one that actually sounds more like Bush.

And he's pretending to be Theodore Roosevelt as he adopts crazy Giuliani's foreign policy platform of aggression, manipulation, and expansion on the world stage?

McCain has gone beyond grumpy and mean.

He's now truly scary.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
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