In what is described by The Hill as a “speech” he gave Thursday night at actor/filmmaker Tyler Perry’s house in Beverly Hills, the president reportedly “slipped” and allowed as how he feels “imprisoned” in the job he fought twice to win. At one point he said:
We should be reforming our criminal justice system in such a way that we are not incarcerating nonviolent offenders in ways that renders them incapable of getting a job after they leave office. [Emphasis added]
If it was a speech, as opposed to impromptu remarks, which Obama has demonstrated some difficulty delivering effectively, then in all likelihood the “joke” was scripted. The reaction of the audience, which reportedly broke into laughter and applause, would seem to lend credence to that theory, despite Obama’s claiming immediately after that it was a “little slip of the tongue there. Little Freudian slip. Tyler is going to give me a job once I leave.”
He recalled to further laughter that Bill Clinton had once said that the White House “is the crown jewel of the federal penitentiary system.” According to the Chicago Tribune, the remark was made as Clinton was “escorting a friend on a tour of the White House, where aides say he feels isolated.” It is worth knowing whether his wife, who now has her own sights set on a presidential run, feels the same way. If so, maybe Americans can spare her the indignity by voting for someone eager to serve.
The occasion for Obama’s speech, incidentally, was a fundraiser to benefit the Democratic National Committee, for which those in attendance parted with between $2,500 to $33,400 for the privilege.