In a world where every misstep by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney produces a veritable feeding frenzy online (guilty!) and on TV, gaffes have come to occupy a more central place in America’s death-race to the White House than ever before. With not a lot else going on in the campaign, gaffes and their reverberating repercussions have taken on an especially prominent role in campaign coverage over the past few weeks, and until Twitter and YouTube cease to exist, each one will continue to be scrutinized more closely than a slow-motion video of Kate Upton doing the Cat Daddy. Not all gaffes are equal, though. Nearly three decades since The New Republic’s Michael Kinsley famously defined a gaffe as when a politician accidentally tells the truth, the vast majority of gaffes will now fall into a handful of distinct gaffe categories.
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