ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: President Obama used his vast rhetorical skills to coin a new political term yesterday. Or else he just garbled his thoughts and ended up sounding funny.
In any event, the political world — as judged via snarky punditry and online chatter and — is wee-wee’d up.
“There's something about August going into September — where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up,” the president said yesterday to a gathering of Democratic Party activists. (Spelling in that quote is courtesy of the official White House transcription.)
The crowd laughed. “I don't know what it is,” the president added, to more laughter. “But that's what happens.”
Well — what is it?
That’s not exactly clear. From the context plus the body language, it appears to mean something along the lines of getting spun into a frenzy.
In the preceding sentences, Obama mocks the “hand-wringing and angst and teeth-gnashing” in Washington, and the campaign-era cable TV frets that “Obama's lost his mojo.”
But the etymology of this particular phrase is unclear. It sounds vaguely like a term he might have picked up from his daughters, though he might have mentioned that if that were the case.
Google turns up more than 65,000 references to the term — but virtually all of them, it appears, have sprung up within the last 24 hours.
That’s led to some creative suggestions.
One conservative blogger quickly suggested that the president’s polls are what’s “all wee-weed up.”
Maybe it’s something like the polar opposite of being “fired up” — the president’s famous campaign chant, which supporters repeated for him at the DNC yesterday.
Some commenters suggested it was the president suggesting that his critics are full of, well, wee-wee.
On Twitter, @dmataconis “has had two cups of coffee and is ‘all wee weed up.’ ”
Opined @madconservative, “Obama has got me ‘all wee weed up’. Whatever that means, i'm sure it can't be good.”
The Drudge Report bannered the phrase — ensuring another day of dominance for the new political mystery phrase.
One enterprising resident of the Twitterverse started a @weeweedup Twitter feed — set against a street map of Washington. (At @thenote, we count ourselves among the 65 followers as of Friday morning.)
Perhaps the phrase works because it can be a stand-in for all manner of sentiments — maybe not that much unlike Obama himself.
Or maybe, as some veterans of the Bush White House suggested, political malapropisms didn’t end with the 43rd presidency. UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs provided the press corps with a bit of an explanation for the new term. “I think ‘wee-wee’d up’ is when people just get all nervous for no particular reason,” Gibbs said, per ABC’s Sunlen Miller. “So this is just — this is sort of an August pundit pattern between people getting overly nervous for something that still has a long way to go.”