Over three years of governing, President Obama has come to be known less as a champion of the sweeping changes that he alluded to in his 2008 campaign and more as an incrementalist.
That’s when he revolutionized how put-upon officials play off badgering questions from the press. It used to be that when a big shot didn’t want to answer an inquiry, the reply would be “no comment” or even “next question.”
Now, thanks to the way in which Obama deferred a question about the contraception controversy during a photo op with the Italian prime minister, “come on, guys” will serve as the new boilerplate media dis. It has several advantages over “no comment”: 1) less adversarial; 2) suggests that it’s the question that’s misguided, not the official’s unwillingness to comment; 3) you don’t have to say “no comment” anymore.