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Obama Expression Gets Press Corps 'Wee-Weed Up'

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Obama Expression Gets Press Corps 'Wee-Weed Up'

Strange News

Obama Expression Gets Press Corps 'Wee-Weed Up'

Obama Expression Gets Press Corps 'Wee-Weed Up'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/112118215/112118194" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Obama spent time Thursday rallying his supporters for a health care overhaul. He compared the current pessimism over health care to the early days of last year's presidential campaign. In doing so, he used the term "wee-weed up" to describe the emotions in Washington in August and September. That unusual phrase set off a flurry of head-scratching in the press corps.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Yesterday, when President Obama spoke to supporters about health care, he had his own comments about this tumultuous political moment.

President BARACK OBAMA: Theres something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up.

SIEGEL: All wee-weed up. That unusual phrase set off much head scratching among reporters. Is all wee-weed up a Hawaiian thing? Is wee-weed up a Chicago thing? Well, at todays briefing, reporters put Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on the spot.

Unidentified Woman: What is wee-weed up?

Mr. ROBERT GIBBS (Press Secretary): I dont know if I should do that from the podium.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GIBBS: Its a phrase I use, but...

Unidentified Woman: Im not (unintelligible) demonstration, I just...

Mr. GIBBS: That, well, I was going to have Bill do that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. GIBBS: Yes. Lets do this in a way that is family friendly.

SIEGEL: And Gibbs defined getting wee-weed up as when people, and I quote, "get all nervous for no particular reason." Finally, he came around to this.

Mr. GIBBS: Bed wetting is - would be probably the more consumer-friendly term for...

SIEGEL: For getting all wee-weed up. Thus ending what our correspondent Don Gonyea tells us is one of the strangest exchanges that he has witnessed at the White House in almost a decade.

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