Despite being known for his prolific public-speaking skills, President Barack Obama often falls back on certain phrases in his news conferences in the United States and overseas.
"Change isn't easy." "Make no mistake." "It won't happen overnight." These sayings frequently pop up in the president's vernacular. But Obama's all-time favorite phrase remains: "Let me be clear."
Obama first unleashed "Let me be clear" to the masses at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and has been using it in high frequency ever since.
Before Martha Coakley lost to Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race, Obama tried to help the Democratic candidate during a speech saying, "She's (Coakley) got your back. Her opponent has got Wall Street's back." "Let me be clear: Bankers don't need another vote in the United States Senate. They've got plenty. Where's yours? That's the question."
During his health care reform pitch on numerous occasions, Obama said, "Let me be clear. If you like your doctor or health care provider, you can keep them."
No matter the topic or location, Obama uses “Let me be clear” as his clarity crutch.
Obama has the daunting task of trying to keep complicated issues simple for the American public and has to do so with political foes trying to twist and turn the meaning behind all of his words. White House spokesman Josh Earnest told the Associated Press that Obama's style, which he referred to as presidential throat clearing, is purposeful.
"While some in Washington seek political advantage by hiding behind ambiguity," Earnest said, "the president regularly seeks to make it clear where he stands and what he intends to do."