Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

March 2, 2013

Obama promises not to use the "Jedi Mind-Meld"

WASHINGTON —  He’s not a dictator and won’t entertain the idea of a “Jedi mind-meld” with opponents. There’s no “secret formula or special sauce” he can slip foes to make them see things his way. And not to worry, he says, the situation may look dire but won’t be an “apocalypse.”

So who was the guy in a suit and tie who showed up Friday in the White House briefing room, mixing metaphors and references to “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”?

“I am not a dictator. I’m the president,” Barack Obama declared as he rejected the idea of using Secret Service agents to keep lawmakers from leaving until everyone agreed on a budget. He answered reporters’ questions shortly after an inconclusive, 52-minute meeting with the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate.

“So ultimately, if (Senate Minority leader) Mitch McConnell or (House Speaker) John Boehner say, ‘We need to go to catch a plane,’ I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway. Right?”

Even if he did bar his office — the oval one — Obama said he wouldn’t do a “Jedi mind-meld” with Congress’ top two Republicans to persuade them “to do what’s right.”

Yoda-quoting nerds, Beltway insiders and even Hollywood heroes were instantly abuzz. The presidential mishmash of sci-fi references went viral, turning off geeks who had considered Obama one of their own after a slip of the tongue that was almost as bad as confusing Klingons and Ewoks, or even Democrats and Republicans.

Jedi are from “Star Wars,” while mind melds happened on “Star Trek.”

Mister Spock of “Star Trek” weighed in.

“Only a Vulcan mind-meld would be effective on this Congress. LLAP,” Leonard Nimoy emailed after The Associated Press sought his reaction. Nimoy signed off with the abbreviation for his “Live long and prosper.”

Maybe it was the power of the Force or some kind of Starfleet prime directive, but the White House couldn’t ignore comments like that, flashing in and out of time and space and mixed metaphors like a TARDIS traveling at warp speed in social media. It later tweeted: “We must bring balance to the force,” with a link to an Obama photo inside a border designed to look like outer space.

As for the situation that led Obama to the briefing room in the first place, he could have quoted Bobby McFerrin and just said: “Don’t worry. Be happy.”

Instead, the president went with: “This is not going to be a apocalypse.”

1
Text Only
National, International News
  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport’s tarmac and climbed into a jetliner’s wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation’s airline fleet.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

    One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP520422034 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2014. There are 253 days left in the year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Immigration _Rich copy.jpg DHS secretary re-evaluating deportation priorities

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday he’s re-evaluating the Obama administration’s deportation priorities to make certain they’re focused on national security, public safety and border security, amid growing pressure from the Latino community and President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats. 

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rethinking Pot 420_Rich copy.jpg Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado

    Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the mainstream in the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Submarine Sleep Sched_Rich copy.jpg Navy OKs changes for submariners’ sleep schedules

    With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the U.S. Navy for decades has staggered sailors’ working hours on schedules with little resemblance to life above the ocean’s surface.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Grim work for families as more bodies discovered

    There are no names listed as relatives huddle around signboards to identify bodies from a sunken ferry. Just the slimmest of clues about mostly young lives now lost. Many favored hoodies and track pants. One girl painted her fingernails red and toenails black. Another had braces on her teeth.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP600421099 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, April 21, 2014

    Today is Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Space Robot_Rich copy.jpg NASA’s Robonaut finally getting legs

    Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nepal Everest Avalanc_Rich copy.jpg Another body pulled from snow in avalanche

    Search teams recovered a 13th body Saturday from the snow and ice covering a dangerous climbing pass on Mount Everest, where an avalanche a day earlier swept over a group of Sherpa guides in the deadliest disaster on the world’s highest peak.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results