Video of the Day: A Supercut Remix of Barack Obama's Favorite Idiom

Let us be clear: The phrase is as inextricably associated with the president as lip-biting is with Bill Clinton and jelly beans are with Ronald Reagan.

A good political catchphrase can attain iconic status and last forever: "I feel your pain." "Read my lips." "There you go again."

But then again, so can an anodyne, practically meaningless placeholder. Take, for example, "Let me be clear," which has become as inextricably associated with Barack Obama as lip-biting is with Bill Clinton and jelly beans are with Ronald Reagan. It's a favorite stalling mechanism for the president and a favorite crutch of the worst Obama impersonators (which -- let me be clear -- is all of them, but in particular Jay Pharoah and Fred Armisen). The folks at Time produced this excellent supercut, complete with edgy soundtrack, to show the range of occasions, inflections, and deployments Obama has for his phrase.

Now, let me be clear: Nothing in this post should be taken to mean that you should pay any attention to Time's Person of the Year.

Hat tip: Vulture

Presented by

David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we still save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Desegregated, Yet Unequal

A short documentary about the legacy of Boston busing

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

Social Media: The Video Game

What if the validation of your peers could "level up" your life?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In