Speech Wars

This little site lets you pick two words and compare the number of times they’ve been used by US Presidents (and candidates) in State of the Union, inauguration and election campaign speeches from the 2008 election.

I ran some interesting tests – firstly with the candidates on their own names. It turns out Obama talked about McCain by name a whole lot more than McCain talked about Obama – although he did forget his name a few times…


Then looking at State of the Union addresses I ran tests on faith v hope, war v peace, and must v cannot… the results weren’t surprising – hope is more popular than faith – I think because it’s more positive. Speeches should be positive. War is more popular than peace – and that’s pretty logical when you look at US foreign policy. Must is more popular than cannot – because taking positive action is better than not doing something negative – and there are a lot of synonyms for cannot but not many with the same power as “must” for the affirmative side.

Here are the pics:

Does a duck’s quack echo?

It does if the press corp is busy with the duck’s successor.

While Obama and McCain’s speeches almost wrote themselves on the basis of the election outcome – lame duck President George W. Bush had to weigh in with a speech of his own. Formality dictated it. The stupid American system where Bush is President until January means America is faced with two months of essentially confused leadership. Obama’s attention turns to picking a cabinet (and other furniture for the Whitehouse – hopefully child and puppy proof). While George W Bush – America’s least popular president ever barring criminal behaviour (I think he actually beats Nixon’s disapproval rating – but I can’t be bothered checking) – has to “hold the fort” and was called on to provide his commentary on election day, the campaign and the future.

The President’s speech (and his congratulatory phone call last night) included an invitation to dinner at the presidential mansion. I can imagine that after a campaign based solely on tying his opponent’s shortcomings solely to Bush and his policies – and after Bush compared Obama to Nazi appeasers during WWII – that’s not an invitation that will be accepted any time soon.

McCain is a PC, Obama is a Mac… almost…

I once went to a branding seminar where VirginBlue marketing guru Sean Cummins said the best way to position your brand is to ask “what sort of car am I” and then see where and how that type of car is being advertised. Cheap market research.

Well, Landor and Associates, an American market research company, has just released their “Candidates as brands” survey.

As far as cars go – Obama is a BMW, while Biden, Palin and McCain are all Fords.

In the personal computing stakes – arguably currently the most interesting advertising feud at present – McCain, Palin and Biden all come in as PCs – Obama scored a dead heat and is both a PC and a Mac.

Obama meets Bartlett

A while back I suggested that Obama was the closest thing to Matt Santos (West Wing President number 2) running in this campaign.

Here Obama meets Bartlett in an interesting fact meets fiction interview with West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin. 
Obama is creating a great degree of angst in some Christian circles because of his stance on abortion – I’m not going to enter that debate here. I just think his other policies (and there are many) are better than McCain’s – and Palin just plain (nice anagram use there…) scares me. Obama’s oratory skills are still enough for me to tip my ineligible vote in his direction.


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