“From the discussions we had, it’s clear we are on the precipice of achievement that’s eluded Congresses, presidents for generations — an achievement that will touch the lives of nearly every American.”
It appears, from the context, Obama was intending to use the word “precipice” to mean “on the verge of” or some similar positive notion.
“Precipice” actually means:
1. An overhanging or extremely steep mass of rock, such as a crag or the face of a cliff.
2. The brink of a dangerous or disastrous situation: on the precipice of defeat.
Obama obviously didn’t know what “precipice” meant.
Or maybe he did, but he thought the rest of us did not know. That way, when
the health care legislation wreaks havoc on the health care system, Obama can give one of his classic “here’s what I actually said” speeches:
“I know that millions of you are losing your employer coverage, having trouble paying the mandates, worried about all the doctors leaving medicine, upset that you have to wait for surgery, concerned that the local hospital has closed, and generally lacking hope.
I refuse, however, to be the scapegoat. In fact, remember that I specifically warned you. I told you that we were on the ‘precipice’ as to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi’s health care legislation.”