—– By: Ann Costantino —–
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam better move over. At this month’s 2018 Biennial Convention for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Maryland’s Democratic candidate for governor, Ben Jealous, just inadvertently declared he’s campaigning for his job.
“Just give me your all for the next 31 days, and you will be looking at the next governor of Virginia and then we’ll get back to winning again,” Jealous said at the convention for Maryland’s Council 3 AFSCME members.
Maryland incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan’s campaign wasted no time publishing the faux pas in a 10-second video in which Jealous made the statement. Hogan is a Republican.
The video, titled “Jealous for Virginia,” garnered over 75,000 views within the first 15 hours after the video first posted.
But with a dizzying schedule where candidates hopscotch across the state – sometimes several times in one day – securing support across counties and local districts, it’s understandable that Jealous could have lost track of his whereabouts. (Or, perhaps, his now-home-state?)
While Virginia is obviously not part of Jealous’ campaign trail and not where he was when he made the statement, touring musicians sometimes make a similar mistake.
According to Billboard magazine, 80’s rock band Guns N’ Roses was booed off stage last year when a roadie greeted audience members at a concert in Australia, saying “Sydney!” The problem was: the concert was in Melbourne; and some in the two cities are apparently rivals.
And few can forget rock legend Bruce Springsteen’s 2009 error when he enthusiastically greeted his audience with “Hello, Ohio!” The band was performing in Detroit, Michigan.
Even presidents do it.
In early 2016, then-President Barack H. Obama addressed an audience in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a “Thank you, New Orleans!” President Donald J. Trump has been criticized for a more serious error when he exchanged Syria for Iraq when he recounted a bombing aimed the week prior at Syria. Earlier this year, Trump was also criticized for forgetting the lyrics to the National Anthem.
As for Jealous, the local AFSCME crowd did not seem to notice his fumble. In fact, The Baltimore Post found that there is hardly a trace that the convention even occurred. The local chapter’s own website and event calendar omit the event, altogether.
Jealous, a former president and chief executive officer of the National NAACP, has been criticized by Hogan for being an outsider from California, and a candidate who is out of touch with Maryland.
The Jealous campaign was not immediately available for comment.