Thursday, January 22, 2004

Roundhouse Round-up: In a Word, the Speech Was Dramatic

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican, Jan. 22, 2004

Gov. Bill Richardson's public-relations army rarely misses an opportunity to use words like "bold," "innovative," "groundbreaking" and "historic" in his speeches and press releases.

But after Richardson's hourlong, 13-page State of the State address on Tuesday, there's a new word to rival those others.

"Dramatic."

A computer search shows he used this word five times in the speech.

He mentioned dramatic school reform in which teachers got a dramatic salary increase.

There was a dramatic transportation-investment program during the special session.

He wants to "dramatically increase" penalties for killing or injuring someone while driving drunk.

And toward the end of his speech, the governor said, "Together, we can continue the dramatic progress we have made."

One of the few places he didn't use "dramatic" was when he was talking about the increase in movies being shot in the state.

By contrast, Richardson used "bold" only once. And in a dramatic departure from the past, he didn't once say "innovative," "groundbreaking" or "historic."

Nobody's sweetheart now: Old hippies will remember counterculture icon Wavy Gravy's ongoing shtick about "Nobody For President." (Who brought us world peace? Who lowered gas prices? Who kicked special interests out of government? Nobody!)

Gravy's favorite candidate is on the ballot for the upcoming Feb. 3 Democratic presidential-preference caucus. That's right, Democrats can vote for "Nobody" under his (or her?) alias, "Uncommitted." It's right at the bottom of the ballot, for Democrats who want to vote "None of the Above."

So one could argue that Nobody is somebody in New Mexico.

If enough people vote for uncommitted, the party will send delegates to the national Democratic Convention in Boston who are not pledged to any particular candidate.

By the way, Wavy Gravy's "Nobody" campaign is documented here.

Hold that call: Nobody apparently called New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who complained in her Sunday piece that candidate Howard Dean stiffed her on a promised telephone interview last week.

Maybe the former Vermont governor got too busy talking to the editorial board of The Santa Fe New Mexican. He did call this paper Friday as his aides had promised.

What's a meta for?: The local Democratic activist group called Forum 2004 plans a unique program for its meeting next week. Colleen Burke and Mary Charlotte Domandi (who hosts KSFR-FM's Radio Cafe show on weekday mornings) will talk about "Political Metaphors and the Language of Politics."

According to Forum 2004, the two will discuss "why liberals must become conscious and strategic in their use of language -- and how conservatives have taken ownership of the language of winning."

The meeting is 7 p.m. Monday at the LaFarge Library, 1730 Llano St.

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Strolling With The Zombie

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