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Brownie Moment

Posted by Baceseras on November 06, 2010 at 14:35

In Reply to: Brownie Moment posted by ESC on November 05, 2010 at 14:28:

: : : : What the heck is a Brownie Moment? Dana Milbank used it in his column in the Washington Post today, saying that a politician had a "Brownie moment" on a TV show. I gather that it's not good for politicians to have Brownie moments on TV shows. When I google the phrase I just get a bunch of hits from political blogs and columns that also use the phrase but nothing that defines it!

: : : [Milbank must have been comparing the politician to Mike Brown, disgraced head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2005, or to Pres. George W. Bush, who said on television, "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie," just when public revulsion at the mismanagement of the Katrina disaster was at its highest. - Baceseras.]

: : Yeah, that makes perfect sense, except that Milbank must have been comparing him (ironically) to Bush. The politician in question was praising an appointee of his, using the phrase "heck of a job".

: Who is going to record all these political terms now that William Safire is no longer with us? On his recent appearance on The Daily Show, President Obama said that one of his staff did "a heck of a job." It was a show-stopper.

: New York Times, Oct. 28, 2010, Obama: ‘Heck of a Job,’ Summers:
: Lawrence H. Summers, the chief architect of the Obama administration’s economic policies who is leaving the White House, received an accidental back-handed compliment from his boss.

: Appearing on “The Daily Show with John Stewart” on Wednesday night, President Obama said, “In fairness, Larry Summers did a heck of a job in trying to figure out how to …”

: “You don’t want to use that phrase, dude,” Mr. Stewart interjected.

: “Pun intended!” the president responded to laughter.

: “Larry was integral in helping think through some really complicated stuff” in the administration’s response to the financial crisis, Mr. Obama added.

[Pres. Obama needed the presence of a wholly sympathetic audience (The Daily Show) to let him skip away from his verbal blunder by saying, “Pun intended” - since, of course, it wasn’t a pun, and if it had been intended it would have been to the disparagement of his own policy’s author. But the sympathetic audience didn’t hold him to the meaning either of his inadvertent quotation or his after-tag; they would have been strict constructionists if a Republican guest had tried likewise to gabble past a faux pas. - B.]