REPUBLICAN presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s White House dream took a bit of a blow this week when he suffered his own Dan Quayle moment. Former Vice President Dan, you may remember, saw his political star fall and tumble into the ocean when he told a class of schoolchildren that potato is spelt potatoe.

Mitt – or one of his lackeys – had the bright idea this week of lining some kids up on stage ahead of the vital Super Tuesday voting with the letters of his surname on their t-shirts. The idea was that they would line up in front of him in order and the word ‘ROMNEY’  would be revealed to the world’s press. Bright, brash, young, camera-friendly, simple, cute – what could go wrong?

Well, a rehearsal would have been a good idea, so that instead of Mitt trying to line them up from behind like a cross-eyed sheepdog, they’d have simply ambled into position themselves. What happened was that Mitt got all disorientated and ended up putting the kids in the wrong order. Not only did he spell his own name wrong – something that not even the famously verbally-challenged Dan ever managed – but the kids ended up spelling the word MONEY because, as you can see in the picture above, the fancy R didn’t look like an R when followed by a consonant.

The MONEY thing was particular unfortunate because all the republican candidates are faced with the tricky task of convincing blue-collar America that they are not out-of-touch obscenely wealthy Wasps, when they are in fact obscenely wealthy out-of-touch Wasps.

This is a good bad-spelling story, but still not as good a bad-spelling story as Squinter’s favourite – the Drumcree campaign medal handed out to any of the brethern, sorry, brethren, who manned the barricades in Portadown, literally or metaphorically, in the 1990s.

‘The Seige of Drumcree’, read the medal, which came to symbolise everything that was cack-handed and stupid about the way the protest was handled.

It wasn’t all bad news, though. The rest of the wording orginally read ‘Hear we stand, we can do no other’, but somebody caught that at the proof-reading stage. And like stamps or coins or bank  notes with a mistake in them, collectors will treasure them even more in the years to cum.