As attention in the final two years of U.S. President Barack Obama's second term is set to shift to those vying to be his successor in 2016, he has been called a number of things, especially a lame duck. But the president and others are taking issue with that characterization. Obama’s laid-back approach during his State of the Union speech, including a retort to Republicans who sarcastically cheered when he said he had no more campaigns left to run -- “I know, because I won both of them,” he quipped -- is causing observers to label his final two years as the “Zero F---s President.”
The president’s State of the Union address was filled with policy proposals, including free community college tuition, middle-class tax credits and paid family and sick leave, that are popular with Obama’s base, but not with the Republican majority in Congress he’ll need to pass legislation. “It’s refreshing to see him at ease and finally just admitting that he has no f---s left to give for the political adversaries who early on promised never to give him so much as an inch and six years later have consistently done just that,” wrote Chez Pazienza of the Daily Banter.
The phrase “lame duck” has been associated with the last years of a presidency since the mid-1800s, according to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. But the new way of describing the Obama presidency may be more appropriate, according to the Atlantic.
“What a weird and honest and superior way to describe the twilight phase of a presidency: a way that captures the liberation, as well as the imminent expiration, of an administration's final years,” Megan Garber wrote. "The ‘Zero F---s’ frame is fitting, if you can get beyond the profanity, not just because it's more accurate than the Lincolnian waterfowl metaphor, but also because it's borrowed from the vernacular of the Internet.”