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For Obama, "Extraordinary" is Routine

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
ex⋅traor⋅di⋅nar⋅y

–adjective

1. beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established: extraordinary costs.

2. exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable: extraordinary speed; an extraordinary man.

3. (of an official, employee, etc.) outside of or additional to the ordinary staff; having a special, often temporary task or responsibility: minister extraordinary and plenipotentiary.

That's how its defined by dictionary.com. But what about this definition:

4. One of Barack Obama's favorite words.

After a year of listening to Barack Obama as President of the United States, I have found that he really likes the word "extraordinary." Just yesterday, he used it to describe the insurance reforms in the health care reform measures, and twice in a speech on energy efficiency.

On Monday, he met with the President of Lebanon and cited the "extraordinary contributions" Lebanese Americans have made to the life of the United States.

He also used it Monday when he met with the top wall street bankers. Citing the "extraordinary" taxpayer assistance the banks got, he said "now that they're back on their feet, we expect an extraordinary commitment from them to help rebuild our economy."

Consider: It's only Wednesday, and he's already used the word "extraordinary" six times this week.

In the last few weeks, he's also used it to describe the Kennedy Center Honorees, the costs of the war in Iraq, and India's economic growth. He used it three times in the speech he made when he pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey.

Seriously, three times in a speech on the turkey.

After one year in office, I think it's safe to say he uses the word "extraordinary" an extraordinary amount of the time.


Robert Hendin is a CBS News White House producer. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here.
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