White House press secretaries try their best to avoid answering questions without looking evasive. The Obama administration, despite pledges to be more open, is no different.
Just Google the words "Robert Gibbs Dodges Question" and you will get a host of different YouTube moments. Jay Carney was so deft at not offering answers that Yahoo started calculating all his different forms of avoidance. The site stopped collecting them when it had 9,486 examples in 13 categories.
The latest occupant of the press secretary post, Josh Earnest, is different in one major regard. While he, too, is an expert at the art of evasion, he has perfected just a single method to dodge questions. Since he took over the job in June, Earnest has settled on a simple alternative to the "no comment" -- the "I'm not in a position" to talk about it.
Sometimes it's used for obvious reasons, such as when discussing sensitive operations in Iraq. Other times, the public is left wondering how he could possibly not be in such a position.
Either way, it has quickly become his new favorite phrase. The Huffington Post found 100 examples of him saying it already.
Watch Earnest utter these five little words above.
Video produced by Sam Wilkes.
UPDATE: Aug. 13, 12:03 p.m. -- It looks like Earnest was in a position to recommend this story, though.
— Josh Earnest (@PressSec) August 13, 2014