30 April 2008

’Elitist’ is so last week. 'Electability' is what it’s all about now

By Glenn Fannick
Dow Jones Insight Staff

The pejorative-sounding “elitist” has been thrown around for years by the GOP when knocking down the Democrats: John Kerry was one. Hillary Clinton too. Obama had the label tagged to him several times in the past 12 months. But after the kerfuffle in which Obama in early April made his now well-discussed comments about small town residents being bitter, the moniker was tied more decidedly to him. During the period of April 11 to 15, it seemed to be the only thing being discussed. But buzzwords can have short lives. The somewhat contrived word "electability" burst on April 17 as Clinton was forced to admit during the last debate before the Pennsylvania primary that her Democratic rival could beat McCain. By April 19 it seems “elitist” was all but forgotten, with “electability” being the word of the day again the day after the Pennsylvania primary.

Note: Sources in this analysis include more than 6,000 newspapers, wires, magazines, radio and TV transcripts; more than 13,000 current awareness news Web sites; 2 million of the most influential bloggers; and more than 6,000 message boards.

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