Monday, March 31, 2008

Less isn't more

How does one word become 109?

When the person who speaks them is running for president.

Candidates are notorious for turning direct questions that could be answered "Yes" or "No" into long treatises that may, or may not, have anything to do with the question. You know those politicians -- the ones who, the more they talk, the less they've said?

Here's one example of campaign morphology, courtesy of Barack Obama. Consider the "growth" of his answer to whether he supports parental notification for abortions for minors:

Obama as an Illinois State Senate candidate in 1996:

An amendment to that statement added:

"Depends on how young — possibly for extremely young teens, i.e. 12 or 13 year olds."
As a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama said:

"I would oppose any legislation that does not include a bypass provision for minors who have been victims of, or have reason to fear, physical or sexual abuse."
Last year, Obama said:

"As a parent, Obama believes that young women, if they become pregnant, should talk to their parents before considering an abortion. But he realizes not all girls can turn to their mother or father in times of trouble, and in those instances, we should want these girls to seek the advice of trusted adults - an aunt, a grandmother, a pastor.

"Unfortunately, instead of encouraging pregnant teens to seek the advice of adults, most parental consent bills that come before Congress or state legislatures criminalize adults who attempt to help a young woman in need and lack judicial bypass and other provisions that would permit exceptions in compelling cases."
Click here for the complete Politico article about the Wordy Wonder from the Windy City.