(WASHINGTON) — It had no real bearing on his press conference about the very serious matter of the U.S. deficit and the upcoming sequester, but the President showed himself to be neither committed Trekkie nor Star Wars fanboy at a White House press conference Friday.
After an hour-long meeting between Democrats and Republicans ended without any resolution to the dreaded sequester that is set to kick in Friday, a reporter asked the president why he didn’t lock congressional leaders in a room and make them work until there was a deal.
Here’s how he responded:
I am not a dictator, I’m the president.
So ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say “we need to go to catch a plane,” I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway, right?
No, no, I understand. And — and I — and I — I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that’s been floating around Washington that somehow, even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right.
Well, you know, they’re elected. We have a — a constitutional system of government. The speaker of the House and the leader of the Senate and all those folks have responsibilities.
What I can do is I can make the best possible case for why we need to do the right thing. I can speak to the American people about the consequences of the decisions this Congress is making or the lack of decision-making by Congress.
Wait. Jedi mind meld? There are Jedi mind tricks, of course, from Star Wars. And there is Vulcan Mind Meld, from Star Trek. But in equating the two, the president erred. He mixed Star Wars and Star Trek.
The people who spend a lot of time on Twitter in the middle of the day, naturally got immediately diverted from sequestration and decided instead to poke fun at the Sci-Fi/Fantasy conflagration by the commander-in-chief.
Of course, there is an argument that he could be forgiven for the mix-up. The two franchises will now sort of be linked since Star Trek reboot director J.J. Abrams is signed on to direct a Star Wars reboot.
If America can bring Star Wars and Star Trek together like that, why can’t she fix the deficit?
Obama complained that Republicans won’t negotiate with him. House Speaker John Boehner, appearing at his own press conference up on Capitol Hill, said Republicans wouldn’t accept any more addition revenue — taxes — as part of any deficit reduction plan. They accepted some earlier this year as part of a deal to extend Bush era tax cuts for most Americans.
Obama rattled off the things he would accept as long as Republicans would accept more revenue.
“Give me an example of what I’m supposed to do,” he said to a reporter, suggesting the White House and Republicans just can’t find an earthly way to agree.
Maybe Obama could use a bit of the Force to achieve a bit of mind meld.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal