June 7, 2013 – Today, President Obama gave a press conference from San Jose, California, and used the platform to laud the achievements of the Affordable Care Act. At the end of his prepared remarks, the Commander-in-Chief agreed to take one question, calling on veteran report Jackie Calmes of the New York Times. Ms. Calmes asked the following:
Mr. President, could you please react to the reports of secret government surveillance of phones and Internet? And can you also assure Americans that the government — your government doesn’t have some massive secret database of all their personal online information and activities?
The President gave a rather lengthy response. Toward the end of his answer, Obama spoke about his own need for privacy once he leaves office. However, when describing when that would take place, he used very peculiar wording:
And by the way, with respect to my concerns about privacy issues, I will leave this office at some point, sometime in the next three-and-a-half years, and after that, I will be a private citizen.
Did he say that he will this leave office “at some point, sometime in the next three-and-a-half years?” Because I’m fairly certain that he will leave this office in precisely three-and-a-half years. On January 20th, 2017, to be exact. Ok, in 3 years, 7 months, and 13 days, to be extremely exact.
It’s important to note that POTUS was off-teleprompter when he gave this response, and when he goes off-prompter, that’s when you get the real Obama. Obama unfiltered, like the cigarettes he doesn’t smoke.
In saying that he would leave office “at some point, sometime in the next three-and-a-half years,” this doesn’t exactly sound like a man who’s brimming with confidence about finishing out his term. There appears to be a scintilla of doubt in his mind.
So, is Obama really leaving office? Considering all of the scandals which are swirling around this administration right now, I’m sure it has crossed the President’s mind on more than one occasion that he might be leaving office a little early.
The questions are: Why? Is one of these scandals really enough to sink his battleship? Or, is another scandal looming on the horizon, one which will be his Waterloo?
Who all is involved? Is it just POTUS, or will memory-deprived Eric Holder be taken down as well?
If Obama’s thinking about cutting out a little early, when will this be? I’m not sure I can accept “at some point, sometime in the next three-and-a-half years.” I need a firm commitment, like closing Gitmo.
Language matters, and his use of language in this particular moment is very telling.
Here’s the video. Fast forward to 1m16s for the curious remarks: