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Breaking Down Harry Reid’s “But for me…” Comment

John on October 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

To be fair, I think he sort meant this as a humorous parenthetical. He wasn’t saying this as a straight line so much as giving an example of the kind of thing no one wants to hear. We’ve heard this formulation a lot recently, i.e. when people are out of work it doesn’t help to tell them the recession is technically over.

I think the reason it doesn’t come across the way it was intended is that Reid is such a stiff he can barely manage the non-verbal cues that would have made this more palatable. There’s a slight smile there, but just barely. Have a look:

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That said, even if he was using the rhetorical formula I suggested, it doesn’t help him much. Saying no one wants to hear the recession is technically over is really just a way of soft peddling a message. In the case of my example above, it’s a way of saying “the recession is technically over” in a way that doesn’t sound insensitive to people out of work. But you’re still basically saying something you believe is true. In other words, based on this clip I think Harry Reid probably does feel, at some level, that he saved the world even if Nevada voters may not be inclined to agree at this moment.

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