John Hinderaker has a great catch from Obama's latest 60 Minutes appearance with a line that is, even by our president’s own standard of self-regard, jaw dropping:
The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do.
What really jumps out at you here is one word: "possible."
Obama thinks so highly of himself he's not willing—even as an act of faux humility—to stipulate that Lincoln and FDR had more accomplished first terms. But he also can't just say, “I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president’s,” and leave it at that. He has to add the next clause and name-check Lincoln and FDR so that the comparison with those great men is explicit.