President Obama mispronounces “Abele” in Waukesha Thurs.

WAUKESHA (WITI) — What’s in a name? If you’re a politician, your name is your brand — so what happens when its flubbed by someone famous?

President Barack Obama was in Waukesha on Thursday to deliver a speech at GE’s Gas Engine Plant, when he had a bit of a mispronunciation issue!

Before the substance of these speeches, there is the ceremony of introducing someone like the President, and also, the obligatory round of “thank yous” for local officials.

“We have three of your outstanding elected officials here with us today. We’ve got Congresswoman Gwen Moore, we’ve got the Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett, and we have Milwaukee County Executive Chris Uh-Bee-luh (Abele),”

Oops! On Thursday, we learned that even the President makes mistakes.

“I think ‘Uh-bee-luh?’ He got it right the last time. I don’t mind. Still a fan,” Abele said Thursday.

“I did notice that! I don’t know if Chris did. I’m sure he did. Chris can answer for that,” Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) said.

“Next time he’ll pronounce it more ably,” Abele said.

“It’s happened to me. It happens to everybody. You just take it in stride,” Mayor Barrett said.

If the Milwaukee County Executive’s name is a mouth full of vowels, the Waukesha County Executive’s name, Dan Vrakas, is like a confrontation with consonants.

“He didn’t take an attempt at the Vrakas name!” Vrakas said Thursday.

Sometimes avoiding presidential pronunciation is the name of the game — especially when you’re in Waukesha, or as President Obama said Thursday, “Waket-cha.”

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