Michelle Obama knows how to bounce back

January 18, 2008 7:35:21 PM PST
Gambling and prostitution are nothing here - Michelle Obama committed the real local sin by mispronouncing the name of the state. She was introducing her husband, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, by saying how happy she was to be in Nuh-VAH-duh. The crowd at the University of Nevada Reno immediately burst into heckles.

Locals don't like it when visitors pronounced the state by using a soft a, like in "baccarat." The correct pronunciation in these parts is Nuh-VAD-uh, with a hard a, like in "craps" or "blackjack."

Michelle Obama immediately realized her mistake. "Nuh-VAD-uh! Oh, no," she said, putting her head in her hands in recognition of her blunder.

"I've been in South Carolina too long!" she said, a reference to her campaigning the primary state that comes next after Nevada's caucus Saturday.

"It's nice to be here Nuh-VAD-uh! Nevada, Nevada, Nevada!" she said, making the politically correct pronunciation over and over again to applause from the crowd. "I know how to bounce back from my mistakes."