Does President Obama Wish It Were Still 2008?

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What would Freud say?

During a tour of Westminster Abbey in central London Tuesday, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama left a message in the guest book, signing the volume with their signatures and a date that was off by three years. obamadate.banner.jpg

In reality, on May 24, 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama was campaigning at an event with veterans at the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The financial crisis portrayed in last night's HBO movie "Too Big to Fail" had yet to take place, the unemployment rate was just 5.5 percent, and Obama was on the rise as the global superstar promising to bring Hope and Change to America.

He was also locked in the protracted primary battle with Sen. Hillary Clinton, and on that day three years ago, forgave her comment that she was staying in the race in part because of her memory of the Robert Kennedy assassination, and how things can change even late in a contest.

"I have learned that when you are campaigning for as many months as Senator Clinton and I have been campaigning, sometimes you get careless in terms of the statements that you make, and I think that is what happened here," Obama said in an interview with Radio ISLA at the time.

That seems to go for dates, too.

"A Westminster Abbey spokeswoman confirmed it was the president who had written the wrong date," The Telegraph reports.

Via New York magazine.

Image credit: John Stillwell/AFP/Getty Images

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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