September 4, 2004

Who says "strong"?

Joe Klein on Tim Russert's CNBC show this evening:
One thing I'd like to do is check and see how many times the President used the word "strong" or "strength" in his speech ... on Thursday night. I don't think it was very many. John Kerry used it again and again and again. Only someone who, kind of, on some level thinks he's weak or thinks the public thinks he's weak is going to use the word "strong" so often.
This is a good point, but I can't understand why Klein, if he was planning to make this comment, didn't locate the text of the speeches and actually do the count. Here, I'm going to do it, over here on my little blog. Bush said "strong" twice, neither time referring to himself (the references are to the Prime Minister of Iraq and to military families). He said "strength" four times, again, never referring to himself (the references are to Americans, to his wife, to "American strength" (which should be used "to advance freedom"), and to military families). Kerry says "strong" or "stronger" 21 times, also not directly referring to himself, and "strength" five times. That took less than five minutes to figure out. Come on, Klein!

UPDATE: Typo corrected: I had "Joel" for "Joe," as an emailer pointed out. Sorry.

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