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John McCain's repeated geographic challenge

July 15, 2008 | 11:48 pm

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

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