Has a friend ever set you up on a blind date and described their friend like this: 'You know she's really funny,' or 'He's got a great personality'? What that person is really saying is, 'This person is not that attractive.'
Well the same thing happens in politics. The canned lines spun on the campaign trail are often code for something else. Take "I am the outsider," for example. If a candidate has to repeatedly say he or she is an outsider, they just might be the biggest insider of them all. Or the false setting of expectations. "Debates have absolutely nothing to do with governing," Rick Perry said. Translation: the governor stinks at debating. Then there is the trumpeting of a "grassroots" or "ground" game, which is campaign code for: 'We don't have a lot of money, and we are hoping and praying people come and vote for us.'
Politicians are not the only ones guilty of coded language. Journalists and pundits alike fall into the trap on a regular basis, throwing out words like pivot, narrative and meme all the time.
Do you or your favorite pols use and abuse political lingo? Pivot to this week's Top Line to find out.