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White House Press Conference Blunders

(CBS)
Ooops. Mr. President, you belong at the lectern on the right. And Mr. President, you're on the left.

But those words did not have to be uttered as President Obama quickly realized that he and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak were standing at each other's lecterns as they arrived on the steps of the Rose Garden for a joint press conference.

"Wrong side," said Mr. Obama to his Korean guest, who laughed as he realized the mistake they made and then quickly traded places. It looked like Mr. Obama saw notes in Korean and realized he was at his counterpart's position.

The two leaders spent most of their 27-minute news conference offering up tough talk about North Korea and the threat posed by its nuclear and missile programs.

But when the q-&-a session was over: another oops.

The two leaders shook hands and Mr. Obama guided his guest away from the Rose Garden and back toward the Oval Office. But after just a few steps, they stopped short, did a 180 and headed towards the residence, where they were due to continue their talks at a working lunch in the Old Family Dining Room.

As presidential missteps go, it's still miles from the pinnacle reached by George W. Bush on a visit to Beijing on Nov 20, 2005, when he tried to exit a news conference – through a locked door. It became the symbol of the no-exit strategy.

You can watch video of the beginning and end to the press conference below:



(CBS)
Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/markknoller.
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