- The Washington Times - Monday, June 2, 2014

Just as former President Bill Clinton had a working mantra to help him keep his eyes on what was important to Americans — “It’s the economy, stupid” — the White House under President Obama seems to have adopted its own message on foreign affairs: “Don’t do stupid stuff.”

Only the mantra is actually “Don’t do stupid [expletive],” Politico reported.

The phrase has come to media light in several instances over recent weeks, notably in The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune in late April, when a trio of journalists reported: “The president’s aides have scrambled to put things in simpler terms. ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is the polite-company version of a phrase they use to describe the president’s foreign policy.”

A few weeks later, a couple of journalists from the same paper reported: “Privately, White House officials have described the working label for Obama’s doctrine as ‘Don’t do stupid stuff.’

“Within the tight circle of foreign policy aides in the White House, the shorthand captured Obama’s resistance to a rigid catch-all doctrine, as well as his aversion to what he once called the ‘dumb war’ in Iraq,” Poltiico reported.

Yet another reporter in the New York Times mentioned the phrase as informal White House policy in a story last week, reported by Politico: “In private conversations, the president has used a saltier variation of the phrase, ‘don’t do stupid stuff’ — brushing aside as reckless those who say the United States should consider enforcing a no-fly zone in Syria or supplying arms to Ukrainian troops.”

And one more Chicago Tribune mention of the mantra, in a editorial published just a few days back: “Instead of trying to do great things, [Obama’s] settled for a policy that his aides summarize as ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ — though they use a different word than ‘stuff.’” 

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