Here's Vice President Joe Biden, assuring members of Georgia's Parliament that U.S. efforts to reset relations with Russia wouldn't come at their expense: "Let me be clear: They have not, they will not, and they cannot."
And senior adviser David Axelrod, on missed legislative deadlines on health care: "Let me be clear. We're less interested in hard deadlines than in moving the process forward."
Lest anyone get too serious about this, Obama has lightened the mood with the phrase, too. He made state lawmakers laugh when he said the massive taxpayer-financed stimulus plan wouldn't be spent on frivolous projects such as dog parks.
"Now, let me be clear," Obama said in March, before Bo the dog arrived. "I don't have anything against dog parks."
Associated Press writer Philip Elliott contributed to this report.