Patterico's Pontifications


Obama’s Priorities

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 6:27 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

How many issues has Barack Obama called his top, highest, or first priority? A lot:

  • July 2007:

    The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That’s the first thing that I’d do.”

    The FOCA died in the 110th Congress and has never been reintroduced.

  • 2008 Obama-Biden Platform:

    “As president, Barack Obama will make combating global warming a top priority.”

  • The October 2008 Presidential debate:

    Moderator Tom Brokaw: “There are new economic realities out there that everyone in this hall and across this country understands that there are going to have to be some choices made. Health policies, energy policies, and entitlement reform, what are going to be your priorities in what order? Which of those will be your highest priority your first year in office and which will follow in sequence?”

    Barack Obama:Energy we have to deal with today … [energy discussion] … So that would be priority number one.

    Health care is priority number two …”

  • November 2008:

    “Mr. Emanuel promised that a major economic stimulus would be “the first order of business” for Mr. Obama when he takes office Jan. 20. The focus of spending will be on infrastructure, specifically “green infrastructure,” which he said would include mass transit, upgraded electricity transmission lines, “smart” electrical meters that allow consumers to save money by using electricity at off-peak hours, and universal broadband Internet access, which he said would encourage telecommuting.”

  • January 2009:

    “US Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton told her confirmation hearing that fighting terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan would be the highest priority of the Obama Administration.”

  • February 2009 Presidential Remarks at the conclusion of the Fiscal Responsibility Summit:

    Senator John McCain: “So we will — and I know that you’ve already made plans to try to curb some of the excesses in procurement. We really have to do that. We’re going to have to pay for Afghanistan, as you well know, and we’re not done in Iraq. But most importantly, we have to make some tough decisions — you, Mr. President, have to make some tough decisions about not only what we procure, but how we procure it. And I thank you for the opportunity and sharing your thoughts with a lot of very smart people.

    President Obama: Well, John, let me — this is going to be one of our highest priorities.”

  • February 2009 Presidential Remarks at Fort Myers, Florida, Town Hall:

    So we are going to be putting a lot of emphasis on job training, on school construction, and on financing of higher education. I think that’s the highest priority. It’s an example of how we can use a crisis and turn it into an opportunity, because if we use this moment to address some things that we probably should have been doing over the last 10, 15, 20 years, then when we emerge from the crisis, the economy is going to be that much stronger.

    If people who’ve been laid off of work are able to get a tax credit or a voucher to retrain so that now they have upgraded their skills, then they’re going to be that much — that much stronger when it comes to finding a job in the future. They’ll boost their earnings, boost productivity in the community.”

  • February 2009 White House Blog:

    “Bringing relief to the battered region of Darfur is a top priority for the administration, the President and Vice President assured the actor and activist George Clooney last night.”

  • May 2009 Presidential Remarks regarding U.S. Non-Proliferation Policy:

    We can move forward on a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It’s going to require more work, but I think that we can get something accomplished there and we can lock down loose nuclear weapons that could fall into the hands of terrorists. We are going to be pushing this as one of our highest priorities, to take specific steps, measurable steps, verifiable steps, to make progress on this issue, even as we keep a long-term perspective and a long-term vision about what can be achieved.”

  • July 2009 Presidential Remarks at the Major Economies Forum:

    One of my highest priorities as President is to drive a clean energy transformation of our economy, and over the past six months, the United States has taken steps towards this goal.”

  • July 2009:

    President Obama said health care will be his “highest legislative priority” over the next month and expressed optimism that a deal could be reached before Congress breaks for its August 2009 vacation.

  • September 2009 Presidential Proclamation on National Preparedness Month:

    “Preparedness is an essential element of a resilient and secure Nation. My Administration has made preparedness a top priority, and we are working every day to ensure our country stands ready to respond to any disaster or emergency — from wildfires and hurricanes, to terrorist attacks and pandemic disease.”

  • September 2009 Presidential Remarks at GM Assembly Plant:

    “And the other thing we have to do is set up a system of community colleges so that we’re constantly retraining. If there is innovations in the auto industry we want to make sure that workers who are already working are able to go back to school — even if it’s part time, night classes, what have you — so that they can then improve their skills. And that’s something that has got to be a top priority.”

  • October 2009 Presidential Remarks commemorating Military Family Month:

    “Though only a small percentage of our Nation’s population, our troops bear the great responsibility of protecting our people. They, along with their families, serve us every day with courage and dignity. Ensuring that military families receive the respect they deserve and the support they have earned is a top priority for my Administration.”

  • November 2009 Announcement that the President will attend the Copenhagen Climate Talks:

    Passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation is a top priority for the Administration and significant progress has been made.”

  • November 2009 Presidential Remarks at the Tribal Nation Conference:

    My understanding is, is that you had an extremely productive conference. I want to thank all of you for coming and for your efforts, and I want to give you my solemn guarantee that this is not the end of a process but a beginning of a process, and that we are going to follow up. (Applause.) We are going to follow up. Every single member of my team understands that this is a top priority for us. I want you to know that, as I said this morning, this is not something that we just give lip service to. And we are going to keep on working with you to make sure that the first Americans get the best possible chances in life in a way that’s consistent with your extraordinary traditions and culture and values.”

  • December 2009 Open Government Initiative:

    “From day one of his Administration, a top priority for President Obama has been changing the way Washington works by making government more open, accountable and accessible to all Americans.”

  • December 2009 Presidential Remarks at signing of the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act:

    We’re making it a top priority to end homelessness among our veterans.”

  • December 2009 Open Government Initiative:

    “The Department of Agriculture is using open government innovations to address the obesity epidemic, one the Administration’s top priorities.”

  • January 2010 White House Blog:

    “But it’s also worth noting that small business, and their role in our recovery, has been a top priority for the President since his first day in office.”

  • February 2010 Presidential Remarks:

    “To train our workers for the jobs of tomorrow, we’ve made education reform a top priority in this administration.”

  • March 2010 Executive Order:

    “Creating jobs in the United States and ensuring a return to sustainable economic growth is the top priority for my Administration.”

  • Had enough?

    — DRJ

    14 Responses to “Obama’s Priorities”

    1. Its bad enough when Obama, like any politician, uses “top priority” in the vapid manner above. It is rather typical however, and not among the more unique characteristics of The Empty Suit(tm).

      But when he calls something a “top priority” when his actions are not merely not making it a priority but in fact attacking the subject, like small business, then it gets annoying.

      SPQR (26be8b)

    2. Pushing that much to the top works, if you’re a hot air balloon.

      John Hitchcock (50a953)

    3. You keep using that word. I do not think
      it means what you think it means.

      If there rocks ahead, we all be dead.

      Jack (e383ed)

    4. Appointing a lot of dirty socialists from academia and the not-for-profit sector to his administration has also been a top priority.

      Just sayin.

      daleyrocks (718861)

    5. If a liberal says it, that means in their mind they’ve done something about it, even if they haven’t. It’s the intention that matters, not the fact.

      reff (176333)

    6. “Had enough?”


      Dopey (a812c5)

    7. Just as Obama’s prone to sticking his finger in the air to see which way the political winds blow (adjusting accordingly), I think this Top Priority is just another part of the shtick. Which ever group of special interest or audience cause he is addressing at the moment becomes the Top Priority. It means little.

      Poor guy, it’s got to a tremendous pressure on him knowing he’s the change we’ve all been waiting for.

      Dana (1e5ad4)

    8. I’ve worked for people who had 15 “top priorities.” It’s usually a product of who spoke to them last. In looking at the list, it seems the usual suspects have been whispering sweet nothings in the presidential ear.

      Global warming, energy, and green technology pushes come from the one world government/watermelon types who really, really hate the fact that we’re not at the same economic level as some African kleptocracy.

      All of the school promises must mean the local NEA rep stopped by for coffee.

      The infrastructure, and job talk means Andy Stern came by that day.

      Darfur? Hey, I got to have George Clooney over for a beer!!

      Identifying the rest of the special interest groups is left as an exercise for the reader as one of my professors would have said.

      kaz (e7a67c)

    9. Making sure this guy and all his progressive comrades are thrown out on their ears the next time they come up for re-election is my one and only top priority.

      PatriotRider (483886)

    10. “Let me be perfectly clear…”

      “It’s like I’ve always said…”

      – Big Zero

      Generalmalaise (d63092)

    11. You wanted change.

      Alta Bob (e8af2b)

    12. What Patriot Rider said.

      Ken in Camarillo (aa2192)

    13. “Let me be perfectly clear…we’re making the organization of our top priorities a top priority.”

      navyvet (e4db05)

    14. Word game

      The top priority vs a top priority vs legislative priority

      If everything is some type of priority, nothing is. Is he really this dumb?

      theaudity (2fd5ad)

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