President Barack Obama's 'Wee-Wee' Comment Sets Off a Talkfest On- and Offline

By Mary Jordan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 22, 2009


"There's something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up," President Obama remarked Thursday as he tried to rally support for health-care reform. "I don't know what it is, but that's what happens."

Well, Mr. President, wee-wee the people don't know what it is, either.

Until the president "wee-weed" on national television, we didn't know that Change We (We) Can Believe In extended to the English language.

What's up with "wee-wee"? Is it a Chicago thing? A Scottish thing? Something related to the Nintendo Wii? A French thing -- oui oui? Or does the president mean Washingtonians tinkle more in the August humidity?

The Presidential Wee-Wee immediately lit up Twitter, the blogosphere and cable TV. Obama's critics gleefully declared that the president should stick to his "elite" vocabulary and had "wee-weed on himself" with this one. Obama had been telling supporters not to be discouraged by all the anger generated by the health-care debate, but critics crowed that Obama's whole plan was going to go, like This Little Piggie, "wee wee wee all the way home." It wasn't much of a joke, but the president didn't set the literary bar too high on this one.

Ever vigilant for wee-wee happening on their watch, the White House press corps raised the issue Friday with presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs. Gibbs, to laughter, promised not to demonstrate wee-weed Washingtonians. More tinkle humor.

Then he gave it a more serious spin: What the president meant was, in late summer, Washington obsesses needlessly on what is really is just a blip. "This is sort of an August pundit pattern between people getting overly nervous for something that still has a long way to go," Gibbs said.

The Obama camp's case:

Last August, the pundits and critics all declared "Obama's lost his mojo" when John McCain announced that Sarah Palin would be his running mate.

The year before, they declared it when Hillary Clinton was hot in the primary.

Now they're "wee-weed up" because new polls show that health-care reform's in trouble.

So this August, Obama has vowed to "move forward" on health care and "cut through a lot of nonsense out there."

Perhaps Obama should send Joe Biden out to poo-poo opponents. A great job for No. 2.

Hee hee.

As the president left Washington Friday for Martha's Vineyard, his parting message, however initially confusing, was Wee Wee shall overcome.

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