The PJ Tatler

Campaign Cliche Alert: Obama Is Like a 'Steel Trap'

Last night in Tucson, Michelle Obama struck many familiar chords in her campaign stump for President Obama’s re-election: Lily Ledbetter Act, GM, fair pay, fair shake, fair share.

She also repeated what’s become a standard nugget in many of her speeches: The president is like a “steel trap.”

“See, what you need to know about Barack is that when he meets people, he has got a memory like a steel trap,” the first lady said. “He might not remember your name, but if he has a few moments and a decent conversation with you, he will never forget your story. It becomes imprinted on his heart.”

A search of White House emails since late January (around the time I started at PJM) revealed 19 “steel trap” references by Michelle Obama.

From a DNC event in Sarasota, Fla., Jan. 26: “See, when it comes to the people that your President meets, he has a memory like a steel trap. He might not remember your name, but if he’s had a few minutes and a decent conversation with you, he will never forget your story.  It becomes imprinted on his heart.”

From a DNC event in Palm Beach the same day: “You see, when it comes to the people he meets — I tell people this everywhere — Barack has a memory like a steel trap.”

At a campaign event in Beverly Hills on Feb. 1: “And I tell this to everybody, but when it comes to the people he meets, Barack has a memory like a steel trap.  He might not remember your name, but if he’s had a few minutes and a decent conversation with you, he will never forget your story.  It’s like it becomes imprinted on his heart.”

At a DNC event in L.A. the same day: “See, when it comes to the people Barack meets, he has a memory like a steel trap. He might not remember your name, but if he’s had a few minutes and a decent conversation, he will never forget your story.  It becomes imprinted on his heart.”

White House pool report, Feb. 21 campaign event in D.C.: “The first lady also mentioned the president’s memory ‘like a steel trap’ and that he reads letters from Americans every night and tells her of his concern and that there is more work to do.”

Feb. 22, at a women in techonology event at the Mayflower Hotel: “See, I tell this to everybody:  When it comes to the people he meets, Barack has a memory like a steel trap.  He might not remember your name, but if he’s had a few minutes and a decent conversation with you, he will never forget your story.  It becomes imprinted on his heart.”

And at least 13 more speeches counted since in which she used the same “steel trap” analogy, including yesterday’s.