Thursday, January 27, 2011
A taste of Canada in the White House
One of the reasons I prefer Canadian politics to American is that our politicians are usually more self-effacing, accessible, willing to joke, and generally take themselves less seriously. With that in mind, here is an exchange involving the White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, that strikes me as very Canadian in tone. Thanks for the chuckle, Gibbs and nameless Brit!
(Taken from an article in USA Today...)
QUESTION: You said the president is quite pleased with the job Secretary Clinton is doing in advancing U.S. foreign policy. I take it you mean that in the American sense of "very pleased." As you know, in British English, that is a very qualified assessment of "reasonably pleased."
I'm serious. If I were to quote you, "quite pleased," it is highly qualified.
GIBBS: Yes, I...
I'm... somebody should record this moment as the moment I became speechless... and CC my dad.
QUESTION (from another reporter): Please, on a scale of one to 10, how happy are you?
QUESTION (from a third reporter): Quite speechless, I think.
GIBBS: Yes... Let me understand that, if I said I was either quite pleased or very pleased, that that would be a massive qualifier that would mean some unintended signal that would actually mean displeasure?
QUESTION: Not that -- not that great
GIBBS: Well, I was going to say enormously pleased, how about that?... With an extra U.