Left-wing New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was widely mocked Wednesday after mistaking the playing of the patriotic song “America” for the British national anthem, which has the same melody.
“Band playing God Save the King? Not exactly appropriate,” Krugman tweeted, as a band played the song also known as “My Country Tis of Thee” shortly before the beginning of President Biden’s inauguration ceremony.
He quickly followed up that he had forgotten there were “Americanized lyrics.” The liberal economist surmised he had “spent too much time Over There over the years,” referring to the United Kingdom.
Critics on Twitter were caught between astonishment that Krugman did not recognize the famous song on Inauguration Day and amusement at humble-bragging about his travels to Europe.
“I thought he was joking,” tweeted the Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams,” while journalist Yashar Ali wrote, “Absolutely incredible.”
The song was performed at both of former President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremonies in 2009 and 2013.
Biden was inaugurated Wednesday as the 46th president, replacing former President Donald Trump. Krugman expressed emotion during his ceremony, saying the festivities caused him to tear up.
“America may make it,” he wrote.
Krugman famously predicted a global recession would quickly follow after Trump was elected.