Our “Feisty” President

President Obama has been on the road lately, encouraging people to support the “jobs bill” that he proposed in his recent speech to a joint session of Congress.  Many of the news stories reporting on the President’s speech refer to him as “feisty” — see here and here, for example.  “Feisty” seems like a curious word choice under the circumstances.

“Feisty” is defined by Merriam-Webster’s to mean “full of nervous energy” or “fidgety,” “touchy” or “quarrelsome,” or “exuberantly frisky.”  Other sources define the word to mean “plucky” or “spunky.”  It is roughly synonymous with “cantankerous.”  There’s a reason why “feisty” is typically used to describe the unpredictably outspoken, motorcycle-riding grandmother who foiled a robbery or has engaged in some kind of angry letter-writing campaign to a local business.

Isn’t “feisty” an odd and somewhat dismissive word to use to describe the Leader of the Free World and the most powerful nation on Earth when he is out campaigning for his proposal?  I doubt that President Obama would want to be characterized as fidgety, touchy, quarrelsome, or spunky — it really doesn’t add to his political street cred to be equated with plucky octogenarians.