How Obama Answers a Question

September/10/2013 5:53AM
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Never in my memory have I ever seen a president of this country love his own voice more than Obama. Words just roll off his silver tongue. But, content is hard to find.

At his press conference in Russia a reporter asked whether he met with the leaders of Mexico and Brazil to discuss their issues with us over the NSA snooping on their countries communications.

Here’s his answer:

“I won’t share with you all the details of the conversation. But what I said to them is consistent with what I’ve said publicly — the United States has an intelligence agency. And our intelligence agency’s job is to gather information that’s not available through public sources. If they were available through public sources, then they wouldn’t be an intelligence agency.

In that sense, what we do is similar to what countries around the world do with their intelligence services. But what is true is that, you know, we are bigger, we have greater capabilities, you know, the difference between our capabilities and other countries probably tracks the differences in military capabilities between countries. And what I’ve said is that, because technology’s changing so rapidly, because these capabilities are growing, it is important for us to step back and review what it is that we’re doing. Because just because we can get information doesn’t necessarily always mean that we should. There may be costs and benefits to doing certain things, and we’ve got to weigh those. And I think that traditionally what’s happened, over decades, is the general assumption was, well, you know, whatever you can get, you just kind of pull in and then you kind of sift through later and try to figure out what’s useful.

The nature of technology and the legitimate concerns around privacy and civil liberties means that it’s important for us, on the front end, to say, all right, are we actually going to get useful information here. And if not, or how useful is it, if it’s not that important, should we be more constrained in how we use certain technical capabilities.

OBAMA: Now, just more specifically, then, on Brazil and Mexico, I said that I would look in to the allegations. Part of the problem is we get these through the press and then I’ve got to go back and find out what’s going on, with respect to these particular allegations. I don’t subscribe to all of these newspapers — although I think the NSA does, now at least.


And — and then what I assured President Rousseff and President Pena Nieto is that they should take — that I take these allegations very seriously. I understand their concerns. I understand the concerns of the Mexican and Brazilian people; and that we will work with their teams to resolve what is a source of tension.

Now, the last thing I’d say about this, though, is just because there’re tensions doesn’t mean that it overrides all the — incredibly wide-ranging interests that we share with so many of these countries.

And, you know, there’s a reason why I went to Brazil and there’s a reason why I invited President Rousseff to come to the United States. Brazil is an incredibly important country. It is an amazing success story in terms of a transition from authoritarianism to democracy. It is one of the most dynamic economies in the world. And, obviously, for the two largest nations in the hemisphere to have a strong relationship, that can only be good for the people of our two countries as well as the region. Same is true with Mexico, one of our closest friends, allies, and neighbors.

And so, you know, we will work through this particular issue. It does not distract from the larger concerns that we have and the opportunities that we both want to take advantage of.

All right?

All right? No, not all right, 500 words said, nothing answered. If you disagree, go to the comment sections and tell me what answer he gave to this question in 500 words.

Here’s what I got from his 500 words. We are bigger than they are. Technology is changing. I don’t read their papers. I don’t know what they are bitching about. I told them I would look into their issue. I went to Brazil once. Brazil is a democracy. We are friends with Mexico. Someday we will fix their problems.

See, with Obama you have to eliminate 90% of his words to find context. When you do and state the response(above) he comes off as ignorant and indifferent, not smart. Words, the numbers and the style, don’t make you smart. But, many people have used both to come off smart.

Had Obama responded as I have paraphrased, what would the reporter’s response be? See the Presidents of Mexico and Brazil listened and sorted out the BS as I did. They probably thought  it was inappropriate, ignorant and indifferent. They, unlike the US media and most of the US public, know we have a serious lemon for a president.

You wonder why world leaders think this president merits zero respect. They are tired of listening to 500 words to hear nothing. Try it yourself. Take any of his speeches or press conferences where he has or doesn’t  have a teleprompter and put the words on paper as I did above. Then sort for content and count the words. This exercise works for all. For every 500 words you will get about 52 that explain what he said, or 10%. When you put those 52 into your own words, he said nothing.

He will serve eight years and be remembered for one sentence. ” If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. Especially when 80% of the public has to change doctors.


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