The Washington Post

Obama’s ‘Jedi Mind meld’ mixes sci-fi worlds

(Bruce Birmelin/Paramount Pictures)

President Obama might be urging cooperation between Democrats and Republicans on the sequester.

But the only things that seems to be mixing at the moment are metaphors.

During his news conference Friday, Obama said some people unfairly expected him to be able to force Republicans to accept his terms. “Even though most people agree... I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right,” he said.

That phrase “Jedi mind meld,”which he uttered during extemporaneous (read: no prompter or script) remarks during the question-and-answer portion of the newser, appears to combine elements from two distinct sci-fi worlds.

A “Jedi mind trick” is a power exercised by Jedi Knights in “Star Wars,” usually accomplished by verbal ma­nipu­la­tion (Famous example: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”)

But “mind meld” is a phenomenon from “Star Trek.” It’s a method of communication used among Vulcans, like Spock.

Obama’s mash-up of the two is certain to provoke outcry among the fervent fans of each franchise. And no matter what happens in Washington, the president might find that bringing together Trekkies and Star Wars aficionados might be tougher than brokering a bipartisan compromise.

But perhaps it can be done. The gaffe inspired the Twitter hashtag in which clever fans combined lines from the two...

”Dammit Luke, I’m a doctor, not your father!” #ObamaSciFiQuotes

— Angela Nelson (@angelaisms) March 1, 2013

”Use the force, Jean-Luc!” #ObamaSciFiQuotes

— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) March 1, 2013

UPDATE: The White House has embraced the gag, tweeting out the following photo and a link to

We must bring balance to the Force. #Sequester #JediMindMeld…

— The White House (@whitehouse) March 1, 2013

Read more from Washington Post Politics:

Obama, congressional leaders fail to reach sequester deal

Fact Checker: Obama’s incorrect claim of janitorial pay cuts

Two agencies send early-bird furlough notices

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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