During his remarks on Tuesday about Hurricane Sandy, President Obama made a curious remark that will surely strike some as interesting.
While talking about how he's instructed federal agencies to cut through red tape when it comes to helping victims of the storm, he uttered the slogan of liberal cable channel MSNBC and even his own campaign: "lean forward."
"So my instruction to the federal agency, has been: do not figure out why we can't do something, I want you to figure out how we do something," he said while at Red Cross headquarters. "I want you to cut through red tape. I want you to cut through bureaucracy. There's no excuse for inaction at this point. I want every agency to lean forward and to make sure we are getting the resources where they're needed."
Listen to the comments below:
Ready for some coincidence? As soon as Obama uttered the slogan, it just so happened that the MSNBC phrase scrolled above the president's head:
So was the statement an accident or just a coincidence? Maybe. But it's been a phrase the administration has been using in remarks this past week. As the Washington Times points out, Obama even used it one other time on Tuesday:
President Obama may have suspended his campaign rallies due to Hurricane Sandy, but he managed to squeeze in his campaign slogan — intentionally or not — during a briefing Tuesday with federal emergency officials.
"The president made clear that he expects his team to remain focused as the immediate impacts of Hurricane Sandy continue and lean forward in their response," the White House said in a statement about Mr. Obama's video-teleconference that he conducted from the White House Situation Room. "Forward" is the slogan of his re-election campaign.
Mr. Obama canceled all campaign events on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as the storm lashed the East Coast, causing billions of dollars worth of destruction, resulting in several deaths and interrupting power for millions of residents.
He was joined on the video conference by Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and other federal officials.
However, it should also be noted that "leaning forward" seems to be part of FEMA's official slogan, too. Check out this report, titled, "2012 The State of FEMA; Leaning forward: Go Big, Go Early, Go Fast, Be Smart."
That means there are three major groups with the same slogan, which could explain some of the overlap. In fact, the irony has been noted before, even as far back as 2010. Press Secretary Jay Carney also used the similar phrase "forward-leaning" in describing the hurricane that hit around the time of the Republican National Convention.
That could explain it. But then again, it's not out of the question that there could be some exploiting of the coincidence less than a week before the election (we know what Rahm Emanuel thinks).
This story has been updated to note the FEMA connection to the slogan.