Usually I get tips on amateurish stumbles by Barack Obama from readers unhappy that they don’t get much coverage in the mainstream media. No one can complain about the coverage of this entry, though, since we’re not just getting it from the Washington Post, but also getting the snark from them, too. Anne Kornblut reports on Obama’s lengthy answer on taxes to employees of a Charlotte battery factor — one that had people needing medical attention after more than seventeen minutes and two, count ’em, two three-point lists (via JWF):
Even by President Obama’s loquacious standards, an answer he gave here on health care Friday was a doozy.
Toward the end of a question-and-answer session with workers at an advanced battery technology manufacturer, a woman named Doris stood to ask the president whether it was a “wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care” package.
“We are overtaxed as it is,” Doris said bluntly.
Obama started out feisty. “Well, let’s talk about that, because this is an area where there’s been just a whole lot of misinformation, and I’m going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have,” the president said.
He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer — more than 2,500 words long — wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, “F-Map”). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as “FICA”).
President Energizer Bunny really wowed the audience with this approach:
Halfway through, an audience member on the riser yawned.
But Obama wasn’t finished. He had a “final point,” before starting again with another list — of three points. …
It was not evident that he changed any minds at Friday’s event. The audience sat politely, but people in the back of the room began to wander off.
Some people incorrectly refer to Obama as a former professor of Constitutional law, a formal title which Obama never claimed. To be accurate, he was a former lecturer on Constitutional law. And it looks like he’s still quite the lecturer.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!