Presidents talk so much in public that is not surprising to find rhetorical patterns. Although Obama is known for a flair with the written and spoken word, his hardest mission is often to make complicated matters relevant to the masses.
So clarity, it seems, is of the highest order.
Terrorists? "Now let me be clear: We are indeed at war with al-Qaida and its affiliates."
Student testing? "Let me be clear: Success should be judged by results, and data is a powerful tool to determine results."
Iran? "Let me be clear: Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran's neighbors and our allies."
Auto bailouts? "Let me be clear: The United States government has no interest in running GM."
The president takes the phrase everywhere.
In Moscow: "Let me be clear: America wants a strong, peaceful, and prosperous Russia."
In Ghana: "Let me be clear: Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at perpetual war."
In Italy, bemoaning poor U.S. leadership on climate change: "Let me be clear: Those days are over."
In Trinidad, announcing new aid: "Let me be clear: This is not charity."
Here's my question: do you think that the President is being clear in his intentions? And if you insert the word "perfectly" in between "be" and "clear," don't you hear the voice of another president from about 40 years ago, as one of Professor Reynolds's commenters pointed out here?