February 12, 2009

What's the most famous Barack Obama quote?

I think it is: "I won."

ADDED: "We" corrected to "I." Link added. Thanks to commenters who pointed to my error.

71 comments:

Palladian said...

You know, it's funny... for all the emphasis on what a "brilliant orator" he is I can't really recall a single specific thing he's ever said, other that the campaign chants. Other than "I won", that is.

AJ Lynch said...

I disagree with you.

I'd say his Rush Limbaugh quote shows he has bad instincts and those big ears of his are tin.

MadisonMan said...

I'd say Yes we can. I won is pretty generic.

MadisonMan said...

You're funny enough, Hillary?

blake said...

You know what it's not going to be?

It's not going to be "If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up."

I saw this with Clinton: The man could say anything on the road; he could say many contradictory things; he could promise whatever was necessary to get people to vote for him.

Once elected, his mission was to push whatever statist agenda he could--severely limited by that near extinct species known as "Republicans with Principles"--and would never be called on it.

Bruce Hayden said...

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody"

jayne_cobb said...

"I can no more disown him than i can my white grandmother"

Curtiss said...

I like all the ones preceded by "So let me be perfectly clear....".

They're usually followed by "...it's been very consistent."

RightGirl said...

"Leave me alone and let me eat my waffle!"

Mark said...

"So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Randy said...

Sí, se puede! And remember to look for the union label (and not just when buying a shirt or blouse.)

This comment not paid for by the SEIU

Jason said...

"I've been to fifty seven states."

Simon said...

I don't know what the most famous quote is, but "the fierce urgency of now" has to be (and seems likely to remain) the most and most easily parodied.

jdeeripper said...

"UH ah eh uh ah eh uhm uh uh uh."

Richard said...

"[Fill in the name] is not the man I knew."

The Drill SGT said...

"this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal;"

Roost on the Moon said...

Simon, that was Martin Luther King.

Happy Black History Month!

Rose said...

His most memorable quote? It's what he doesn't say.

David said...

Obama: We won.
Bush: Mission accomplished.
[Kerry: Reporting for duty!]
Clinton: I didn't inhale. I did not have sex with that woman. (Take your pick.)
Bush 41: No new taxes.
Reagan: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall.
Carter: I aborted the mission.
Ford: Our long national nightmare is over.
Nixon: I am not a crook.
Johnson: I'm the only President you've got.

Happy Lincoln's Birthday!

Randy said...

Slightly off-topic: Will someone please wave a white flag (no bloody shirts, please) when they're done re-fighting the Civil War below?

Curtiss said...

It could be "...answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade."

Then there's "we are the ones we've been waiting for."

But all these are fleeting. The most famous Obama quote is yet to be spoken.

It will be associated with his great success or his dismal failure.

reader_iam said...

According to my 8-going-on-9-year old, it's "Yes we can."

(I gave him no options, didn't provide context, just asked: "'X,' what do you think is Barack Obama's most famous quote?")

TitusJustHadAGreatPump said...

It's something really unpatriotic and unamerican and hateful. I can't think of it right now but it is really super awful.

reader_iam said...
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TitusJustHadAGreatPump said...

It will be said in France too which will make really really bad and evil and commie pinko like.

reader_iam said...

I tend to agree with Curtiss, myself, and probably wouldn't have chosen "Yes we can" myself, even now ... but I'll go with the piece of the future closest to myself, who, in any case, will be around a helluva lot longer than I to look back and assess from a distance in time.

Simon said...

Roost on the Moon said...
"Simon, that was Martin Luther King."

It was? Hmm. Well, even King had oratorical misfires. "Fierce urgency of now" - ha! Obama quoted it, at any rate.

reader_iam said...

By "agree with Curtiss," I mean with this: The most famous Obama quote is yet to be spoken.

Simon said...

There are few things more urgent than moving slowly when men with ideas and strong wills urge that we must move swiftly.

mydismalswamp said...

I don't know about the most famous but I do know the most significant and telling, for it sums up his thoughts and plans for us so very well. - "Um...,"

1jpb said...

I think it's

"Enough!"

Because it seems like the sound guys may have added reverb (there was an echo) at Invesco. And, that one word summed up the feelings a some folks felt toward R leadership.

Hieronymus Smith: said...

Here's a good one (in honor of today's date): "I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator." Ah, well ... swallow the camel whole and strain on the gnat.

Jason (the commenter) said...

"Um...,"

Excellent mydismalswamp, but how about "..."? He says that even more often! The Obama pause. It's what makes people think he's wise beyond his years.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

I think it was this one: "Ha ha, you chumps! Thanks for making me your socialist overlord! A trillion in the very first month! I roxor!"

Oh wait, he didn't actually say that? I suppose, it just feels like he's saying that.

I saw this with Clinton: The man could say anything on the road; he could say many contradictory things; he could promise whatever was necessary to get people to vote for him.

Depressing.

Patm said...

I thought he said, "I won." Not "we"

Revenant said...

I think it was this one: "Ha ha, you chumps! Thanks for making me your socialist overlord! A trillion in the very first month! I roxor!"

I'd be happier if this was socialism. This is more like bread and circuses; they're buying votes with a $800 billion in borrowed money.

Under socialism, the government has SOME interest in keeping the economy from going tits-up.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Whenever he talks as President I feel like I'm watching an episode of the British-com "Yes Prime Minister." Especially when he goes into "we're going to form a committee" mode. And when he answers a single question for ten minutes. They should bring that show back to PBS. It would be perfect now.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

He said "I won" at the end of a meeting. With house Republicans. It was a joke, and everyone at the table laughed.

Get a life.

"I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war." -Obama

Revenant said...

He said "I won" at the end of a meeting. With house Republicans. It was a joke, and everyone at the table laughed.

And we're starting to see why the Republicans thought it was so funny. :)

chickenlittle said...
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chickenlittle said...

Revenant said: Under socialism, the government has SOME interest in keeping the economy from going tits-up.

And that reminds me of something. I don't get why the new Admin. doesn't want to pump up the DJIA. All those 401(k)s mean tax deferred monies, meaning that they would get a nominally bigger 25% cut with greater valuation. It's almost like they don't want it.

Michael H said...

"We are the ones we have been waiting for."

Jason (the commenter) said...

Michael : "We are the ones we have been waiting for."

You must not have listened to the town halls Obama held recently. All the people wanted to know how Obama could help them. "We" doesn't wait for "we". "We" clearly waits for other people.

Jeff said...

“Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the essential"

Maybe someone smarter than me can explain that one.

I understand that it's a take on the perfect is the enemy of the good or good enough, and that idea makes sense.

But "the essential?" How is the essential balanced against the perfect.

It's like some sort of algebraic equation that's missing a sign.

Mr. Forward said...

"Barack Obama believes that America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access."

Web are the one we are waiting for.


"Trillion dollar Stimulus Passes"

I-owe-one.


"2012 Presidential race already started"

Iowan

Franco said...

"The time for debate is over"

AllenS said...

Since Obama is just one man of a comedy duo, here's Biden, Obama's sidekick: "and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S”

God, I love that one.

Pogo said...

Barack Obama's most famous quote will be along the lines of "I for one welcome our new Chinese, Muslim, and Mexican overlords."

Issob Morocco said...

Re: Barack's "I won."

Our quote back will be "We lost"

John Althouse Cohen said...

“Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the essential"

Maybe someone smarter than me can explain that one.


OK, here goes: It's the same thing as "the best is the enemy of the good." "Essential" means "it's really important for it to be done." "Perfect" is an unattainable goal that would prevent you from actually getting stuff done. So if you think the stimulus bill is necessary - essential - for us to avert economic catastrophe, then you'll want it to pass even if it might not be perfect.

John Althouse Cohen said...

reader_i_am's 8-year-old child got it right.

Pogo said...

The standard phrasing is in fact "the perfect is the enemy of the good".

He botched it.
And fer chrissake's it's a quote from Voltaire.

Saying 'the essential' still makes sense, but less so, and changing Voltaire seems uneducated if he didn't know that and a little arrogant if he did.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Is that a "botch" or something called a paraphrase?

He paraphrased it and added emphasis.

Y'all are kinda nuts if you ask me.

Pogo said...

Yes, what Voltaire's brief quote always needed was a good paraphrase and added emphasis.

Hope BHO takes on Shakespeare next; that dead white guy could use some-a dat dere paraphrasin' and emphasizin', sure.

Paraphrase = "unaware of the actual quote".

Come on. If Bush had buggered Voltaire like this, y'all would be adding to the list of Bushisms and "ain't he stoopid" calendars and e-mailing the YouTube. Criminey.

Face it. He's as articulate as any lame and lazy professor; he's just got as many cheerleaders as Bush had detractors. You guys think his slip-of-the-tongues contain hidden genius, his errors show genius, his shit beholds a brown rose.

Jeff said...

I'm just dense I suppose.

To my uneducated ears, the perfect is the enemy of the good means that when something essential needs to be done, you can't wait for the perfect solution, you go with what's good enough and you should never put off doing what needs to be done by doing nothing because you are waiting a perfect situation. Right?

So the quote's use doesn't seem to make much sense to me as constructed here.

We have to do something, the essential, but the question is whether we wait for a perfect solution or one that is good enough. The Perfect (Republican plan) is the enemy of the Stimulus plan, but we have to do something because it's essential. Everyone already knows it's essential, you don't have to state the obvious again.

Am I completely off base here?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Pogo, you actually think Obama wasn't aware of the phrase "don't make the perfect the enemy of the good"?

He's saying the stimulus plan is not perfect, but that it's good and actually, given the situation we're in "absolutely necessary." He paraphrased and added emphasis.

You are a lil bit dense methinks.

Pogo said...

BHO is the bravest, kindest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

madawaskan said...

Pogo he already adapted Shakespeare for his premier press performance-

Now is the Winter of Our Hardship.

Obama the Distributor 2009

AllenS said...

Out with Shakespeare, and in with Obamaspeare.

MPH said...

Undoubtedly:

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

It forever encapsulates the sickness of the sycophancy.

LarsPorsena said...

Now is the Winter of Our Discontent
Made glorious stimulus by a ton of pork

Pogo said...

BHO: the Paraphraser in Chief.

reader_iam said...

Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien.

Are you all quite sure what Voltaire said, and what was originally meant?

Pogo said...

That is of course debated, but I am quite sure BHO was thinking of that quote, and botched it, like the Shakespeare quote.

But since it warn't Bush what did that, it's a sign of genius rather than idiocy.

reader_iam said...

Pogo: Another version, for one example, is "The better (or best) is the enemy of the good enough," which "good enough" can, in turn, could reasonably enough be interpreted as "the essential."

I'm not into defending Barack Obama just now (for whom, I will remind you, I did not vote, as oft stated). But when it gets down to it, it seems a bit over the top to rap him due to his paraphrase of a phrase, of somewhat ambiguous origin (and not originally English--thus translated, which often inherently means paraphrased) and which itself has morphed into modern coinage (which, it could even be argued, may carry a meaning different than the original intent). I would have sidestepped this one altogether, except that it seemed as if the discussion was evolving into "Obama butchers Voltaire! How dare he!" Well, OK, that's fine, of course. But it's also fine to query as to what people think Voltaire meant ... and whether, in fact, Barack's "botch" is really one, or whether the general understanding of Voltaire's proverb is botched. Or not.

Since we're splitting hairs, and all ... .

; )

reader_iam said...

But since it warn't Bush what did that, it's a sign of genius rather than idiocy.

I'm assuming that's a general comment referring to a larger trend and double standard, which I agree exists.

If it was pointed specifically at me, well, LOL, Pogo. In that case, you don't have a leg to stand on.

Pogo said...

reader, not you, but Montagne Mointaigne.

As to a 'reasonable translation' of Voltaire.
I suppose.
Was Obama translating Voltaire? Or paraphrasing?

Come come.
The common phrase in English is just as I wrote, nothing more.

I'm merely applying the same rigor to BHO as Bush received.

madawaskan said...
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PatCA said...

"Now is the Winter of Our Discontent
Made glorious stimulus by a ton of pork."

Excellent! I was about to award Pogo (BHO is the bravest, kindest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life) a billion or two from the bailout, but I think I shall make the check out to you instead.

Barack

dbp said...

Eh, bien means good in French and essential means essential.

They are related in meaning but also have fairly unsubtle differences. Good just means something positive. So it would be good if I found the time to work out today, but far from essential that I do so. It is essential that air contain Oxygen, it is also good that it does since I would like to remain alive.

I think BHO chose essential, because he is trying to sell the bill as not merely good but totally necessary. Old sayings have a power in that they convey truth in a way which is unquestioned. He modified it to fit this situation, so that people would think the stimulus plan is a good idea.

It is good to have a President who can sell his ideas--if the ideas are good. If the ideas are bad, not so good.