[I]n his State of the Union address, Obama claimed, "We've excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs."Turns out Obama is "Clintonian," just not in the post-1994-beat-down-moderation way many Americans tired of the Big Government agenda kind of hoped for.
Did Obama speak falsely?
Well, it depends on what the definition of "excluded lobbyists" is.
[T]he country may have heard, "we haven't hired lobbyists to policymaking jobs," but the White House tells us Obama meant, "we only hired some of the lobbyists who applied for policymaking jobs." In other words, they've excluded some lobbyists.What does this mean for all of us?
And this was in the context of reducing the "deficit of trust."
So Obama has, indeed, taken a Clintonian turn, but not toward the center. Instead, he has adopted our 42nd president's use of clearly misleading statements that can be parsed so as to be factually correct, at least in a general sort of way.
That President Obama would say, "we've excluded lobbyists," when he really meant, "we've included them, too," tells us something more surprising: That he's willing to mislead us, as long as he's left himself a semantic back door to escape through if he gets called out [emphasis added].Read the whole thing here.
Now we're forced to parse all of Obama's claims and promises. Now we always have to try to guess what the president actually means. Obama might soon learn, as Bill Clinton did, that a "deficit of trust" carries a steep price.