by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Though he’s known to be more of a basketball fan (and has a poor track record with baseball throws), President Obama turns to the gridiron for one of his most overused sports cliches. Brian Hughes reports for the Washington Examiner.
Call it a combination of President Obama’s favorite rhetorical techniques: bemoaning politics and using sports metaphors.
Obama and his closest allies just love talking pigskin when on the defensive. The desired effect is to paint the White House as above the Washington fray and more principled than its political rivals.
Here is just a small sampling of Team Obama’s favorite prevent defense.
“This is not a political football.”
Obama last week deflected criticisms about his decision to trade five Guantanamo Bay prisoners for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying he was more concerned with bringing home the American than worrying about the debate in Washington.
“It is important that our veterans don’t become another political football, especially when so many of them are receiving care right now.”
Obama in late May urged caution amid calls for the ouster of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, saying he first needed more details about deadly lapses in medical care at VA hospitals.
“My view is that the longer we see the law benefiting millions of people, the more we see accusations that the law is hurting millions of people being completely debunked — as some of you in the press have done — and the more the average American who already has health insurance sees that it’s actually not affecting them in an adverse way, then it becomes less of a political football.”
The president in April accused Republicans of exaggerating disillusionment with his signature health law and insisted that Obamacare would become less politically toxic with more Americans gaining access to health care.
Follow the link above to find a half dozen more examples of this rhetorical dodge.