Nothing can undermine a high-brow lecture as much as making the same gaffe that your opponent made. Just ask this Ukrainian MP, who hoisted herself with her own rhetorical petard, accusing the president’s office of ignorance.
The amusing exercise in bad geography started with the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In a statement published on its website this week, it said the Ukrainian leader was going to visit the capital of Canada – Toronto!
The gaffe gave fresh ammunition to critics of Zelensky, a professional comedian, who took office after winning in a landslide, as voters preferred the political novice to corruption-mired veteran Petro Poroshenko.
One of those was Ukrainian Deputy Parliament Speaker Irina Gerashchenko, a close ally of Poroshenko, who took to Facebook to school the president.
“Here is quick education tip. The capital of Turkey is Ankara, not Istanbul. The capital of the USA is Washington, not New York. The capital of the Netherlands is The Hague, not Amsterdam. Who knows where your next visit happens,” she wrote.
Except… Amsterdam actually is the Dutch capital, despite the fact that The Hague is the city where the national government sits.
“I acknowledge this typo,” the red-faced legislator later wrote. “It’s a good reminder to everyone to reexamine geography.”
Ex-President Poroshenko’s party is looking for a comeback at the ballot box later this month, when Ukraine will hold a snap parliamentary election. So it’s understandable why his team is looking for every opportunity to hit Zelensky and his party, which is as new as his presidency and will need to win big to ensure that he can get the laws he wants through parliament. But clearly, the ‘damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead’ attitude can hilariously backfire in politics.