To the dismay of all Star Wars-loving Democrats, the President of the United States today admitted that he was not a Jedi Master, nor a dictator.
As HyperVocal’s official White House reporter, I’ve started to regularly attend the daily briefings conducted by Press Secretary Jay Carney. This morning, President Obama met with Congressional leaders of both parties for a last-ditch effort to avoid the sequestration cuts that have been dominating the news this week. The meeting, as expected, ended in stalemate. Speaker Boehner left the Oval Office and suggested that any deal which includes additional “revenues” will not be an option for Republicans.
Just after 11:35am today, the president entered the briefing room to use his bully pulpit and speak to the American people and answer a few questions from the press corps. Over the last few weeks, the Obama administration has rolled out numerous members of the Cabinet to suggest how the sequestration cuts would affect each respective departments and overseen citizenry. A day after the “big” news from the briefing was the perceived “threat” from a White House economic adviser toward one of the White House Press Corps’ own, in the form of legendary reporter, Bob Woodward, the president came in to change the tone and to spell out his side of the story.
Sure, the President talked about the American people, and job losses, and cuts to national security, and the unnecessary effect the lack of compromise will have. But the main takeaway was his response to a question from CNN’s Jessica Yellin, who asked if the President could force Republican leaders to stay in the Oval Office until they changed their minds.
Here’s the actual back and forth:
YELLIN: Mr. President, to your question, what could you do — first of all, couldn’t you just have them down here and refuse to let them leave the room until you have a deal? (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: I mean, Jessica, I am not a dictator. I’m the President. So, ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say, we need to go to catch a plane, I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway, right? So —
YELLIN: But isn’t that part of leadership? I’m sorry to interrupt, but isn’t —
THE PRESIDENT: I understand. And I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that’s been floating around Washington that somehow, even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right. Well, they’re elected. We have a constitutional system of government. The Speaker of the House and the leader of the Senate and all those folks have responsibilities.
Twitter exploded after the statement was made by the ‘non-dictator’:
One for the books: || WASHINGTON (AP) – Obama says he can’t do ‘Jedi mind meld’ and persuade Republican leaders to do what’s right.
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) March 1, 2013
Obama just proposed a “Jedi mindmeld.” This isn’t the #sequester you’re looking for…
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) March 1, 2013
Awesomeness is. RT @simonmaloy Obama: “I cannot do a Jedi mind meld.” What is happening?
— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) March 1, 2013
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) March 1, 2013
Sci-fail: Genius Obama says he ‘can’t do a Jedi mind meld’ twitchy.com/2013/03/01/sci…
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) March 1, 2013
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) March 1, 2013
— Yoda (@yoda) March 1, 2013
And there you go…