Everyone who has had to listen to Barack Obama speak can identify his rhetorical crutches — “Let me be clear,” “It’s not about me,” and “I inherited a mess,” to name just a few.  CBS’ Mark Knoller has to listen more than most, being a member of the White House press corps, and decided to focus on another of Obama’s rhetorical crutches.  Just how many “top priorities” can one man have?  As it turns out … a “bevy” of them:

After the Senate passed that $600 million Border Security Bill yesterday, President Obama issued a statement asserting that securing the southwest border has been “a top priority” since he took office.

But if you think Mr. Obama can have but a single “top priority,” you’d be wrong. He’s got a load of them. …

Early in his administration, Mr. Obama also assigned the “top priority” label to his campaign promise to overhaul America’s health care system. But a check of his speeches since taking office, reflect a bevy of other “top priorities[.]”

So how many?  Knoller lists thirteen other “top priorities” besides the economy, border security, job creation, so the official count is 16.  I suspect, though, that Knoller may have given up counting after finding “free trade agreements” on the list.  After all, that’s one of the few on the list that Obama can accomplish on his own, and we’ve yet to see him come up with one that originated with his administration.  For that matter, we have yet to see the White House sign the Colombian free trade pact that Colombia has wanted since George Bush was President.

Maybe sometime soon the White House can put together a Top Ten List of Top Priorities of the Top Guy.  Hopefully, that gets to the top of their list.

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