Sometimes, politicians can be a little difficult to understand. For example, they don’t alway say what they mean. I know this comes as a shock.
Having spent, as a Washington reporter, endless spans of unrecoverable, precious time listening to politicians, I can be of help. I’m fluent in their language, and I can translate for you.
As a public service, here is an English language version for you of President Obama’s press conference Wednesday.
“Obviously, Republicans had a good night, and they deserve credit for running good campaigns.”
Their message didn’t win, their consultants did.
“To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”
Nobody voted anyway.
QUESTION: “But is there anything specific that you feel like you and your administration need to change given this disastrous election for your party and the message that voters sent?
THE PRESIDENT: “Julie, I think every single day I’m looking for, how can we do what we need to do better.”
No, nothing needs to change . . .
“But the principles that we’re fighting for, the things that motivate me every single day and motivate my staff every day — those things aren’t going to change.”
Because I’m right about stuff.
“And I maybe have a naïve confidence that if we continue to focus on the American people, and not on our own ambitions or image or various concerns like that, that at the end of the day, when I look back, I’m going to be able to say the American people are better off than they were before I was President. And that’s my most important goal.”
I’m above politics, unlike the Republicans and even you.
“If there are ideas that the Republicans have that I have confidence will make things better for ordinary Americans, the fact that the Republicans suggesting it as opposed to a Democrat, that will be irrelevant to me. I want to just see what works.”
I’ll pretend to listen to what anyone is saying.
“What’s most important to the American people right now, the resounding message not just of this election, but basically the last several is: Get stuff done. Don’t worry about the next election. Don’t worry about party affiliation. Do worry about our concerns.”
Let’s please not start focusing on 2016 already.
“So before the end of the year, we’re going to take whatever lawful actions that I can take that I believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system that will allow us to surge additional resources to the border, where I think the vast majority of Americans have the deepest concern. And at the same time, I’ll be reaching out to both Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and other Republican as well as Democratic leaders to find out how it is that they want to proceed. . .
“But what I’m not going to do is just wait. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve shown a lot of patience and have tried to work on a bipartisan basis as much as possible, and I’m going to keep on doing so.”
Expect an executive order on amnesty before the end of the year.
“The fact is that most of my interactions with members of Congress have been cordial and they’ve been constructive. Oftentimes, though, we just haven’t been able to actually get what’s discussed in a leadership meeting through caucuses in the House and the Senate to deliver a bill.”
McConnell and Boehner hate the Tea Party as much as I do.
“And I take them at their word that they want to produce.”
I don’t actually believe them because they’ve lied about this before.
“You know, actually, I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell. (Laughter.) I don’t know what his preferred drink is.”
I hate bourbon. I hope he lets me have a chardonnay. And anyway, when I do have bourbon, I drink Jack Daniels, which is Tennessee.
“If we do have a deal that I have confidence will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and that we can convince the world and the public will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, then it will be time to engage in Congress. And I think that we’ll be able to make a strong argument to Congress that this is the best way for us to avoid a nuclear Iran.”
I’ll tell Congress all about it. A vote is entirely another matter. Anyway, it will be a good deal, so why should they vote on it?
“Well, I think it’s too early to say whether we are winning, because as I said at the outset of the ISIL campaign, this is going to be a long-term plan to solidify the Iraqi government.”
So far, we’re not winning in Iraq.
“And what I also said was that in Syria that’s been complicated and that’s not going to be solved any time soon.”
In Syria, we’re actually losing.
“Now, there’s a specific issue about trying to get a moderate opposition in Syria that can serve as a partner with us on the ground. That’s always been the hardest piece of business to get done.
These guys not only suck at fighting, they’re bumbleheads, they can’t be trusted, and some of then secretly want to stone adulterers.
“In some cases there may be recommendations that Republicans have for changes that would undermine the structure of the law, and I’ll be very honest with them about that and say, look, the law doesn’t work if you pull out that piece or that piece.”
Obamacare passed, suckers. Like it.
“So if, in fact, one of the items on Mitch McConnell’s agenda and John Boehner’s agenda is to make responsible changes to the Affordable Care Act to make it work better, I’m going to be very open and receptive to hearing those ideas. “
I’m not interested in hearing any of their dumb ideas.
“As I said before, I don’t want to try to read the tea leaves on election results. What I am going to try to do as President is to make sure that I’m advancing what I think is best for the country.”
I really don’t care what the American people think.
QUESTION: “Thank you, Mr. President. And if you do miss us, allow me to humbly suggest we do this every week. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: “We might. Who knows. (Laughter.) I’m having a great time.”
You and I both know that’s not going to happen.
“And the one thing that I want the American people to be confident about is that every day I’m going to be filling up my time trying to figure out how I can make their lives better.”
Prepare yourselves for a series of executive orders.
“That doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be ongoing nagging problems that are stubborn and can’t be solved overnight. And probably the biggest one is the fact that despite economic growth, wages and income have still not gone up. And that’s a long-term trend that we’ve seen for 10, 20, 30 years.”
Don’t blame me for stagnant wages.
“Listen, as I think some of you saw when I was out on the campaign trail, I love campaigning. I love talking to ordinary people. I love listening to their stories. I love shaking hands and getting hugs and just seeing the process of democracy and citizenship manifest itself during an election.”
Some still worship me, thank God.