In slip up, Palin calls Afghanistan “our neighboring country”

SAN FRANCISCO Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin called Afghanistan our neighboring country on Sunday in a speech that could revive questions over her tendency to stumble into linguistic knots.rtx95kp.jpg

Three days after a mostly gaffe-free debate performance, the Alaska governor fumbled during a speech in which she praised U.S. soldiers for fighting terrorism and protecting us and our democratic values.

They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan, she told several hundred supporters at a fundraising event in San Francisco.

The gaffe could add fuel to comedians and late-night talk show hosts who have seized on her linguistic infelicities to portray her as someone not to be taken seriously.

Later in a speech in Omaha, Neb., Palin poked a little fun at herself when talking about one comedian in particular actress Tina Fey whose dead-on impression of Palins looks, voice and body language has been a hit.

Fey, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Palin, has parodied her as a rambling, perky politician unfamiliar with world issues for three straight weeks on the comedy show Saturday Night Live.

I was just trying to give Tina Fey more material job security for Saturday Night Live, Palin said.

The skits have become a sensation since an awkward interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric in which Palin failed to coherently express her views about Russia, the U.S. governments $700 billion financial bailout package, and the newspapers or magazines she reads.

In recent days, the 44-year-old self-described hockey mom has described the Couric interview as less than successful, and apologized to crowds of supporters for her shaky performance, saying she was annoyed and impatient because she wanted to talk about other issues like energy independence.

Palins opponent, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, has also committed high-profile gaffes, including claiming in a recent interview that President Franklin D. Roosevelt calmed fears in a TV address at the beginning of the Great Depression. There was no TV in 1929 Roosevelt wasnt president at the time.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

- Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (A Palin supporter at a rally in Denver last week.)