Ticket Replay: Obama's record-setting run-on sentence reminiscing about campaign travels and dumb polls and small towns (not bitter ones) and ups and downs and the American Dream and grandkids and tough times and back to, of course, healthcare like this
During the holiday season, as in years past, The Ticket is republishing some of our favorite items from the previous political year. This story was originally published on April 2, 2010:
It must be a record for something -- the week, if the not the year or -- who knows? -- perhaps the entire Obama presidency.
Some people were thinking the liberal Democrat was spending a lot of money. But in Boston Thursday night at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser definitely not inside any pole-dancing place, President Obama accomplished an amazing feat of loquacity, uttering one single sentence containing 304 words.
An extremely long sentence, even if he wasn't a recovering professor. And a smoker.
The ex-state senator made his initial national political reputation, as you will recall, as a Real Good Talker at the ill-fated 2004 Democratic National Convention in that very same city.
He still is an RGT, even if it's not always all about healthcare. And, let's be candid, now that this guy is getting the hang of being treated like a president with everyone listening to every word, honestly, who's gonna interrupt The Boss once he really gets going?
This very long, ear-numbing sentence came Thursday night at the end of a very long day.
And because it is the run-on sentence against which all presidential run-on sentences will likely be judged for the foreseeable future, we had to share it with you straight from the White House transcript.
It comes in response to one of his own favorite straw-man questions. And his answer would sure seem to belie the claim of calmness.
Anyway, take a deep breath:
A lot of people have asked, why is it you seem so calm?
And what I’ve tried to say often -- and a lot of times this gets discounted in the press -- is that the experience of having traveled throughout this country; having learned the stories of ordinary folks who are doing extraordinary things in their communities, in their neighborhoods; having met all the people who put so much energy and effort into our campaign; having seen the ups and downs and having seen how Washington was always the last to get what was going on, always the last to get the news -- what that told me was that if we were willing to not do what was expedient, and not do what was convenient, and not try to govern based on the polls today or tomorrow or the next day, but rather based on a vision for how we can rebuild this country in a way that works for everybody -- if we are focused on making sure that there are ladders of opportunity for people to continue to strive and achieve the American Dream and that that’s accessible to all, not just some -- if we kept our eye on what sort of future do we want for our kids and our grandkids so that 20 years from now and 30 years from now people look back on this generation the way we look back on the Greatest Generation and say to ourselves, boy, they made some tough decisions, they got through some tough times, but, look, we now have a clean energy economy; look, our schools are revitalized; look, our health care system works for every single American -- imagine how tough that was and how much resistance they met from the special interests, but they were still willing to do it -- if that was how we governed, then I figure that the politics would take care of itself.
Now, take two aspirin and check back here later.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Photo: Associated Press (Obama talking more in Boston).