Politico’s designated Obama-speech watcher/reader Carol Lee is up today with another analysis of the president’s verbal tics. Turns out President Obama may have an inflated sense of his own place in history.
I know! I was floored, too.
Perhaps it was a sign when President Barack Obama sat down in January to record his first weekly address and announced: “We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action.”
What has followed is declaration after declaration of “unprecedented” milestones. Some of them are legitimate firsts, like the president’s online town hall at the White House in May.
But others the president wins merely on a technicality, and several clearly already have precedent.
Lee also nicely catalogues some of the president’s “unprecedented” feats:
Obama has used “unprecedented” to describe his efforts on science research, his plan for the auto industry and his administration’s ethics, transparency and accountability guidelines.
He has promised an “unprecedented commitment” to education, to developing clean energy, and “to preserving America’s treasured landscapes,” which, Obama has noted, have seen “unprecedented droughts” and “unprecedented wildfires” in the face of climate change.
There has been “unprecedented consensus” on health care reform under Obama’s watch, as well as “the unprecedented intervention of the federal government to stabilize the financial markets” and an “unprecedented” bank review.
His administration has also taken “unprecedented action to stem the spread of foreclosures,” Obama has said, including the creation of “an unprecedented fund, in partnership with the Federal Reserve,” to get credit flowing.
Makes you wonder what all those other presidents did with their time. They were probably just playing games and shaking the money tree.
No, wait. President Obama’s got that covered, too.
Obama even treads on unprecedented territory in ways he’s not trying to highlight. At this point in his presidency he’s spent more time on the golf course, for instance, than his immediate predecessor. He’s also attended more fundraisers.
Hard to imagine a Republican getting away with that, especially during a time of war, high unemployment, and economic torpidity.
But then again, this guy is something special. And he won’t let us forget it.