No, not an “Assassination Reference”

The Atlantic Wire asks:  Did Obama Just Make an Assassination Reference?

The source material that sparked the odd question?  The president stating during a fiscal cliff-related press conference:  "I’m going to be president for the next four years. I hope."

The piece goes on to ask: 

Could he actually have been joking about assassination? About impeachment? The apocalypse? Or has everyone just had enough of these negotiations?

While granting that I do not know what was in the president’s mind at the time, surely the most reasonable interpretation of the remark is simply that the president was acknowledging that the future is not guaranteed.  You know, like someone saying “God willing, I will blah blah blah.”

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    Just a throwaway line, in my opinion, but that probably won’t prevent the conspiracy theorists from obsessing about it, although it may get lost in the furor du jour about Hillary Clinton being injured in a plane crash in Iran three weeks ago.

  2. Dave A says:

    Maybe he knows they will find the REAL long form birth certificate 😉

  3. Ernieyeball says:

    Almost every morning for the last 15 years that I have drug my sorry azz out of bed I have experienced a new ache or pain. Sometimes I figure this just might be it. Most times I just limp to the shower and the day goes on.
    A while back I suffered with an excruciating headache for a few days. Convinced I had a brain tumor I went to the clinic. Earwax buildup.
    I hope the Big O makes it through the next four year term in good health and I hope I live long enough to see the Cubs win a World Series!
    (Maybe I should do something about these hallucinations…)

  4. @Dave A: You may have decoded it!

  5. JKB says:

    Maybe Valerie Jarrett and Michele promised to let him be President this time if he won. But can he trust them…

  6. An Interested Party says:

    Maybe Valerie Jarrett and Michele promised to let him be President this time if he won. But can he trust them…

    Oh my, being emasculated by strong, black women…very nice…perhaps Valerie couldn’t, but I bet Michelle could probably kick your ass, both literally and figuratively…

  7. Jim Henley says: