President Obama really likes to call everyone "guys" -- his all-purpose, casual term for anyone he's speaking to or about.
He wraps up nearly every press conference on that note, even though many reporters aren't guys, but women.
He refers to prominent economists that way: "He's one of the best big picture guys in the business," Obama said in introducing Mark Zandi of Moody's at a fiscal responsibility summit last month.
He feels fine calling the CEOs of the nation's biggest companies guys (they were mostly male). "I want you guys to do your thing," he told the Business Roundtable earlier this month, rebutting suggestions that he wanted to "get government in everybodyís business."
He doesn't mind calling members of Congress "guys," as he did at a healthcare summit this month, though they hold the fate of his ambitious proposals in their hands.
He certainly has no compunction using the term for the AIG executives who took those bonuses, saying Wednesday that "these guys are looking for bonuses, having run down AIG."
On the "Tonight Show" Thursday night, he was discussing his love for basketball and pickup games, and said, "I donít see why they would throw the game -- except for all those Secret Service guys with guns around."
And just this afternoon, he sprinkled his remarks to state legislators calling them "guys." "It's helpful for me also to talk to you because you guys see things from outside of Washington," he said. "And the more I can break out of the bubble, the better off I am."
Such informality might not fly, though, when he attends the G-20 economic summit April 2 in London with European leaders and others. That setting calls for more diplomatic protocol, and Obama has avoided his verbal talisman in more formal settings.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.