What does “I’m like, c’mon guys. I’m the president of the United States.” imply?

The Washington Post (April 14) reported President Obama’s off-the-cuff remark during a meeting with donors in Chicago held on April 13th under the title: “Obama riffs with donors: Where are the cool phones, and did you hear about the emir?

In this remark, he said:

I’m like, c’mon guys. I’m the president of the United States.

What does this phrase mean? A dictionary at hand tells me c’mon means “come on.”

Is he boasting of his being president? Or he is bitching on absence of advanced communication gadgets available at the site? The copy in question reads:

The president, in an unscripted moment with donors in Chicago, was talking about the need to innovate in technology.

“The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff,” he said during a small fundraising event at a Chicago restaurant. “I’m like, c’mon guys, I’m the president of the United States. Where’s the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn’t happen.”


Though the other answers gave a very good implication of hi utterance, I think the OP is trying to parse it too literally and so is not getting the grammatical function of the pieces (so that those pieces can be reused). So for ‘I’m like “C’mon, guys, I’m the president” ‘

  • I’m like “….” – introduces something said or thinking. One could change the pronoun. It is mostly synonymous with “I said…” or “I said to myself…” or “My reaction could be described by…”. A common way to repeat an interaction between two people, verbal or otherwise, is to say “I was like ‘Your momma is ugly’, and he was like ‘No, she isn’t.’ and I was like ‘Is so.’ and then -she- was like ‘Sorry, dude, he’s right’, and he was like ‘whoa, that’s harsh’, and then he was all like making weird faces and then he barfed all over the car seat.” That’s why you’re like ‘It smells like some cow died in here’

  • C’mon, guys – “Come on” or “C’mon” is an imperative, which could literally mean ‘Please follow me…’ but here and usually means ‘I am exasperated’ when others (the ‘guys’ here) aren’t doing something expected. So you could say “C’mon y’all, get off the lawn” or “Come on! The Nixon mask is better than the baby mask for a bank heist”. Grammatically, it is saying “(you) come on” similar to “Come off it”.

So that’s the grammar. The register is pretty informal and colloquial, common in youthful talk. Coming from a former law professor, I’d guess it was meant as a deliberate change in register for effect, a little bit ironically, as though he were some teenager in a movie who was unexpectedly thrown in with the royal family of England and lots of laughs with the difference in speech.

Source : Link , Question Author : Yoichi Oishi , Answer Author : Mitch

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