But presidential experts from the right and left who spoke with The Hill said that if gaffes keep adding up, Obama may be damaged by incidents ranging from a foot in the mouth to a protocol faux pas.
“Gaffes do shape the public perception of the president because the mistakes that one makes reveal how you think and what you’re doing,” said Darrell M. West, vice president and director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. “Ultimately, that can add up to an unfavorable public profile.”
Lee Edwards of the Heritage Foundation, who has written biographies of President Reagan and Barry Goldwater, said Obama has the age of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter working against him even as the information-age media invaluably assisted his campaign.
“Because we’re in the age of constant communication, the age of 24/7 news, gaffes, mistakes and missteps are seen, heard and repeated much more quickly,” Edwards said.