I watched the post press conference analysis last night, and no one seemed to pick up on what I noticed. Namely, we've got a president--and an administration--that really needs to learn a little humility. Saying "When Gordon Brown came to visit me" instead of "When Gordon Brown paid our country a visit" I can pass over, especially since it was in response to a question.
But in his prepared remarks--his prepared remarks that one presumes Rahm Emanuel and several others looked at, for Pete's sakes--President Obama said this:
"And in this budget, we have -- we have to make the tough choices necessary to cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term, even under the most pessimistic estimates."
Why on earth did he have to say "by the end of my first term"? Don't he and his people have any notion how presumptuous this sounds? Where was somebody pouring over the speech, crossing out that phrase, and replacing it with "by 2013"?
One of my favorite stories about a President is when Thomas Jefferson neared the end of his life, he insisted that his epitaph list three and only three accomplishments: his authorship of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, his writing the Declaration of Independence, and his founding of the University of Virginia. When asked what about being Governor of Virginia, Ambassador to France, Secretary of State, Vice-President, and ultimately a two term President, Jefferson responded that those distinctions didn't belong on his gravestone because they were things the people did for him and he wished only to be remembered for things he did for the people.
That anecdote needs to be told at the White House.
Addendum: Hey, by saying "by the end of my first term" didn't Obama basically announce he plans on a second? How come no reporter picked up on that and inquired, "Mr. President, have you given us a scoop? You said 'by the end of my first term;' can we take this to mean you've announced your candidacy for 2012?"