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Politics

January 16, 2008

Primary Metaphors

The generally weird primary season has been especially screwy this time around. First, Hillary Clinton pulled off an improbable upset in New Hampshire. Now, with Mitt Romney's recent Michigan win, it's possible the Republican nomination might not be sealed until March. Such wackiness seems to have made our pundits a little loopy, and the off-the-wall metaphors have started to pour in. (Ann Quinlan of the Fort Worth Business Press was among the first, describing the Iowa caucuses as "evening coffee klatches with a serving of trigonometry.") Here are a few of our favorites:

Jim Treacher on Instapundit
"These primaries are like the Special Olympics: Everybody gets a ribbon!"

Associated Press
"The battle between the top-tier candidates 'is going to be like the Bataan Death March,' said Ron Kaufman, a top adviser to Romney."
[Maybe the Romney campaign should work on metaphors that don't invoke prison camp references]

D.B. Woolston
"My feelings about the structure of the Presidential primaries are similar to my feelings of the BCS. I'm excited about the season, the buildup, but when it comes time for the final votes, I'm left empty and unenthusiastic. It's an unscientific way to pick a winner."

Amy Quinn
"To use a shopping analogy (because really, why not?), the primaries are like hitting the mall with birthday money burning a hole in your pocket. First, you grab something really interesting, something glittery and trendy and different, something that looked cool in the window. Then you make more careful, practical choices, stuff from the middle of the store, and that's New Hampshire. Super Tuesday is the clearance rack, where you blow whatever money you've got left and leave the store feeling like you got your money's worth."

Arizona Republic
"The presidential primaries are like an irregularly spaced line of dominoes. Trends started in one state often (but not always) influence the results in subsequent elections."

Richard Adams in the Guardian
"The Buddhist monks of Tibet traditionally select a replacement for the Dalai Lama by visiting a sacred lake for spiritual guidance before travelling the land to divine the reincarnation of previous leaders in a boy identified by celestial markings. Perhaps the Republican party should consider that method for selecting its presidential candidates. After all, its current system isn't working too well."

Keith Sawyer in the Huffington Post
"Is primary voting, for example in Iowa and New Hampshire, more like a jazz group—super creative—or more like a crazy mob?"
[Sawyer goes on to determine that the early voters are similar to an improvisatory jazz ensemble—hardly surprising coming from a guy who wrote a book called Group Genius.]







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