Patterico's Pontifications


“He’s a Jackass”

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 12:02 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

In off-the-record comments before a CNBC interview, President Obama described Kanye West as a “jackass” for interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the VMAs. TMZ has the audio here.

Obama is in hot water for calling West a jackass but ABC’s Terry Moran is in hotter water for tweeting it off a CNBC video feed. (By the way, how many networks share live video feeds, and why don’t they have rules about using a rival’s product?) I thought Obama sounded about as normal as I’ve ever heard him — he sounded like a person instead of a professor — until he referred to himself in the third person:

Obama: The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person. She’s getting her award. What’s he doing up there?

Question: Why did he do that?

Obama: He’s a jackass. [Laughter] No, now — this
— all this stuff — I’m assuming all this stuff. Where’s the pool?

Come on guys. Cut the President some slack. I got a lot of other stuff on my plate.”

I think the media has already cut the President plenty of slack.


30 Responses to ““He’s a Jackass””

  1. Modern equivalent of an open mike. Something every president learns about the hard way.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  2. I thought Obama sounded about as normal as I’ve ever heard him — he sounded like a person instead of a professor.

    Very true.

    Randy Haddock (f49b56)

  3. The author of a certain blog really wishes people would quit lamenting on grandiose third-person self-references. Those grandiose third-person self-references are innocuous.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  4. The president, of all people, should know better; especially after what Jesse Jackson said about him during the campaign.

    Then again, he was right about Kanye . . .

    Icy Texan (259a85)

  5. If one is counting honest and reasonable statements by our President, the Kanye West remark got you to maybe the third finger.

    One gets a hell of a cramp waiting in between sensible comments, though.

    JEM (a0f32a)

  6. In off-the-record comments before a CNBC interview, President Obama described Kanye West . . .

    “Hey,” he said, incredulously, “I thought this part was off the record!”

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  7. Nobody with any sense would give Obama anything but praise over this… tisk.

    Buzz Killington (747191)

  8. The President should totally own this comment – I had lunch yesterday with a good friend who is a staunch Obama supporter – it’s the first time she and I have EVER agreed about anything he has said.

    Weaving the tapestry of a united community. Power to the President!

    em (87027b)

  9. “ABC’s Terry Moran is in hotter water for tweeting it off a CNBC video feed”

    Hot water? Nah, if this wasn’t done deliberately, I’d be surprised, because if really does show a “nicer” side of “Teh Won. Me? Paranoid? Nah! :)

    GM Roper (6afe02)

  10. For once Obama makes sense. West is a jackass. Then he doesn’t even have the figs to take ownership of his comments. If he runs from that what’s he going to do when it comes to the really tough decisions?

    Deke Nukem (d9d8ce)

  11. This would be the first thing I’ve heard him say I can agree with. An unabashed, unpretentious, un-calculated and focus-grouped opinion. And of course, it’s only “off the record”. On the record he’s got a pose to maintain.

    Too bad it doesn’t speak much for the real person behind the title, that he only says such things when the case is so blatantly obvious. His similarly off-the-cuff remarks about a certain cop/professor incident were pretty wrongheaded by comparison.

    rtrski (336865)

  12. I don’t see why he can’t own what he said – it would certainly show a side of him that I haven’t glimpsed previously, and I think that’s a good side.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  13. That he said this was entirely believable, and I suspect that 99% — or more — of the American public agrees with him. So what goes on in his head that this should be “off the record”? Ya, he probably shouldn’t have said “jackass”. Shows he’s human. Maybe this is Michelle, trying to protect the girl’s ears?

    htom (412a17)

  14. CNN aired it as well, even after describing it as “off the record.”
    Obviously, Team Obama wanted this out. No working journalist is going to sever their access to the White House by disregarding an off the record declaration by the President — especially not something as innocuous as this obvious bone toss to people small-minded enough to care about Kanye West’s skin color.

    Unapologetic Mexican (08580c)

  15. Yeah, for once he sounds natural. But then, isn’t he instantly trying to climb down from what he said?

    “No, now — this – all this stuff — I’m assuming all this stuff.”

    Hey, we wouldn’t want to unfairly mischaracterize what Kanye’s doing, would we? Perhaps there were extenuating circumstances. (Like being drunk out of his mind.) etc. He can’t bring himself to condemn a dictator or a liberal, but he can immediately assume the worst about a conservative without any of that “No… I’m assuming all this stuff.”

    Gesundheit (47b0b8)

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  17. He doesn’t want to “own” up to this statement because he does not want to be accused of being a racist.

    Huey (b957d9)

  18. I agree with Mr. Roper.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  19. But, what of decorum?

    Thugye West DESERVES an apology, of course.

    Matador (ad4464)

  20. I thought Obama sounded about as normal as I’ve ever heard him — he sounded like a person instead of a professor — until he referred to himself in the third person:

    Yes I agree that he referred to himself in the third person.

    He’s a jackass

    Sabba Hillel (153338)

  21. Unapologetic never misses a chance to inject race into any discussion.

    Dmac – Isn’t Kanye a Chicago person originally?

    JD (4f5e05)

  22. “Cut the President some slack” seems to have been part of a plea to keep this all off the record.

    I think he’s trying to keep this off the record because he has a sense that calling someone a jackass isn’t presidential, that it’s the sort of dialogue that presidents should not be engaged in.

    What he’s missed is that, even though that’s generally true, this was the exception: Mr. West was acting like a jackass; there’s pretty much unanimous agreement among everyone who knows anything about the event, on that score.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  23. It has nothing to do with not appearing “presidential”, and everything to do with not losing the urban vote.

    Icy Texan (259a85)

  24. It was a rare example of Obama sounding human and uncontrived. I remember in 2000 when Imus had Al Gore on his radio program. It was the only time I ever heard Gore sounding like a reasonable guy.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  25. It seems odd that he would want that to be off-the-record, when it is a position that would garner nearly universal agreement.

    JD (d3d21b)

  26. You should know, better than most, JD, that there is one ironclad rule: ANYONE that dares criticize a member of a minority group, for ANYTHING, is a racist. It doesn’t matter if the words come from President “is he black enough” Obama.

    [Have you heard about the new “birthers”? They claim that he can’t possibly be really black because he was born in Hawaii.]

    Icy Texan (259a85)

  27. If Jimmy Carter called him a jackass, that would impress me.

    Vermont Neighbor (ea50c4)

  28. I think the comment was an off-the-cuff attempt to show the press corp how “real” and “down to earth he was”. Listen to the audio. It was a “look at me being real — see how honest I am!”. And the crawl-back afterwords was phony in the “look how dangerous I am! Oh man did I go TOO FAR!!” kind of way.

    BHO put his foot in his mouth — ie, he told the obvious truth — then Axelrod said, you know, I think we can use this.

    Viktor Nehring (962372)

  29. Viktor, there’s video of the event circulating – it was on Politico for a while until they took it down – which doesn’t match your characterization.

    On the video it looks very much like he made the jackass remark and then realized that he wasn’t in private and that this could go out to the public and tried to backpedal from it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

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