• Top 10 Things Barack Obama Should NOT Say on Letterman (Too Late)

    Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! I meant to get this Top Ten list of of ridiculously stupid things that President Obama should definitely avoid saying on The Late Show with David Letterman up on the blog before his scheduled appearance the other night. Unfortunately, I got all distracted by this video of a monkey wrestling with a puppy, and before I knew it, I was too late.

    As it turns out, he really could have used my advice

    When asked if he remember what the national debt was when he entered office, President Obama said "I don't know what the number was precisely." Obama told Letterman "we don't have to worry about it short term."

    If only I had gotten this post up on time! Aaargh! He somehow managed to hit two of my ten trouble statements within seconds of each other. Look…

    1. "I don't know what the national debt number is precisely."
    Definitely don't say this or any variation of this. It hits exactly at conservative's biggest criticism of you. You can't make yourself look like you're uninformed about one of the biggest issues of the day. And, besides, it's not like it's difficult information to find. Remember that giant debt clock the Republicans had at their convention, so maybe refer to that.

    2. "I suspect there might be werewolves, or possibly Frankensteins, hiding inside the walls of the White House."
    This kind of paranoid rhetoric is not going to instill confidence in voters who are looking for an even-keeled rationalist to be in charge. Plus, it's really more of a Michele Bachmann-esque talking point.

    3. "We don't have to worry about the national debt in the short term."
    Again, you can't make yourself look like you somehow don't care about the national debt. Republicans are going to keep hammering away at this issue. See #1.

    4. "Whenever I visit a foreign country, my first order of business is apologize, apologize, apologize!"
    Everybody knows this already. Even so, it's best to not state it so definitively.

    5. "The other day, while I was kneeling east toward Mecca…"
    Hello, separation of church and state anyone? Personal statements of faith may alienate the hardcore fundamentalist atheists who make up your base.

    6. "I would be open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone, but I do insist, many of the 47 percent that Gov. Romney was going after pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than he does."
    Tim Kaine already floated this. It didn't work.

    7. "What this country needs is more government handouts."
    Refrain from using overt bumper sticker slogans. Makes you seem to practiced.

    8. "Let's burn this whole motherfucker to the ground, America!"
    I know you're the head of the federal government, but that won't really protect you from the FCC. You could be facing huge fines for such language. Why not something softer, like "Let's burn this whole rigamarole to the ground, America!"? It gets the same point across.

    9. "bortaS bIr jablu'DI' reH QaQqu' nay' "
    No Klingonese! How many times do we have to go over this?

    10. "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for me no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with me, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for me no matter what… These are people who pay no income tax."
    Romney already used this. You don't need to get hit with a plagiarism charge at this point in the race.

    Photo by John Paul Filo/CBS/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, CBS, David Letterman, Debt, Television


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