Obama Deploys New Anti-Ebola Adjective: ‘Tenacious’

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The nation is facing a deadly threat from the Ebola virus, so President Barack Obama has deployed a new, poll-tested strategic defense adjective.

Before Wednesday, “tenacious” had not been said in the White House press room since at least March 2011.

But since Wednesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest has been bombarding reporters with the adjective.

He used it five times on Wednesday. “So what you are seeing from the federal government, however, is the kind of tenacious response that reflects evolving circumstances,” he said.

He threw it out six times Thursday. “We’re dealing with a deadly disease, and what you are seeing is the kind of tenacious response that the American people are counting on,” Earnest said.

He used it at least four times Friday. “We want to make sure this tenacious response is up to the standards of the American people,” he said. Officials’ actions are “in line with the adaptive tenacious approach we’ve taken so far,” he said.

The adjective is likely intended to defend Obama from growing public worries about his feckless response to the Ebola threat.

There’s been a spike in public worry and in opposition to his policies, prompting Obama to cancel at least three campaign events, and to appoint an Ebola response coordinator on Friday.

Once the appointment was announced, he dashed out onto the campaign trail with a speech on Wall Street regulation.

Earnest is likely to keep pelting reporters with “tenacious.”

On Thursday, he clubbed the reporters like baby seals.

“I think this also indicates a commitment on the part of this government at the direction of the president of the United States to the kind of tenacious response … members of this administration have been tenacious … you have seen so much tenacity … you’re seeing is the kind of tenacious response that the president expects … the administration is mobilizing the kind of tenacious response that they deserve,” he said Thursday.

The day before, he limbered up by using the additive five times.

“The administration continues to pursue the kind of tenacious response. … The federal government is demonstrating the kind of tenacious, adaptive response … guided by the tenacious response … this government’s tenacious response to Ebola,” he said.

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