Speaking at the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday one day after Hurricane Sandy killed at least 39 people and left millions without power, President Barack Obama invoked both the liberal network MSNBC’s slogan and his own campaign rhetoric in an apparent attempt to inject politics into ongoing disaster relief efforts.
“So my instruction to the federal agency, has been: do not figure out why we can’t do something, I want you to figure out how we do something,” Obama said. “I want you to cut through red tape. I want you to cut through bureaucracy. There’s no excuse for inaction at this point. I want every agency to lean forward, and to make sure we are getting the resources where they’re needed, as quickly as possible.”
In October 2010, the progressive network MSNBC adopted the slogan “Lean Forward.” The Obama campaign began using the slogan “Forward” in advertisements, rallies and speeches beginning in April 2012.
Watch Obama tell Americans to ‘lean forward’ after describing hurricane fatalities:
Also on Tuesday, a press release from the White House office of the press secretary used the “lean forward” slogan just after describing the fatalities that have resulted from Hurricane Sandy.
“On the call [with governors], the President began by thanking the officials for their leadership in the face of this severe storm, and praised the heroism of the emergency response teams leading the efforts. He also noted his sadness over the loss of life associated with the storm so far. The President made clear that he has directed his team to continue to lean forward and provide all available resources to support ongoing response and recovery efforts.”