Jen Psaki, as you know

Jeryl Bier has kindly forwarded the video compiled a while back by the Weekly Standard’s Jim Swift. The video depicts Psaki in the act of deploying her favorite locution: “As you know, [name]…”

What “frankly” is to the career politician, what “let’s be clear about [fill in the blank]” and “as I have stated previously” are to President Obama, “as you know” is to Ms. Psaki: a warning that what you are about to hear should not be taken at face value. As she ascends from her position as chief State Department spokesman to White House Communications Director, let us take a brief look back.

UPDATE: A reader takes issue with my description of “as you know” as Psaki’s favorite locution:

A word search of her daily press briefings reveals her favorite locution is the similarly condescending term, “obviously.” A close second is the term “range,” as in “range of options,” used to create the impression of substance where none exists.

I appreciate the correction and the spirit of sound scholarship in which it is offered.

Another reader observes: “I think I’ve heard Obama use ‘I have always said’ more often. Like your two examples, though, it’s a very good warning.”


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