Hang it up, already! Pundits and politicians have long lacked the originality to think of a novel way to express an idea and this election cycle is no exception. Here’s POLITICO’s list of some of the most overused expressions (or slight variations thereof) during the past three months, according to Nexis and Google News:
“The Republican candidates’ circular firing squad now seems to be using machine guns,” wrote Thomas Sowell in the National Review, Jan. 27.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said the Republican presidential candidates should avoid a “circular firing squad” in an interview on CNN’s “John King USA” on Jan. 26, 2012.
The co-chairman of Newt Gingrich’s campaign in Florida, Alan Levine, told The Miami Herald that Chris Christie should “stop the circular firing squad” in a piece that ran Jan. 23.
2. “Democrats fall in love, while Republicans fall in line” : 26 mentions
“The old cliche has it that when it comes to picking their candidates, Democrats fall in love while Republicans fall in line,” writes the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty on Feb. 12. “But this year it would seem that Republican voters are doing neither.”
“The old saw is that Democrats fall in love with their candidates while Republicans fall in line behind theirs,” writes the Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby on Jan. 11.
“There’s the old line that Democrats fall in love and Republicans fall in line. And to what intensity is what we’re still kind of debating on,” said talk radio host Dana Loesch on CNN, Jan. 10.
“Republicans fall in line, not in love. Democrats fall in love, as we know,” said host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Jan. 10.
3. “Jobs, jobs, jobs” : 25 mentions
“The public cares about jobs, jobs, jobs — they may have sympathy for fixing the tax system to make more fair is one thing, but it might seem off-topic,” pollster Michael Dimock told Talking Points Memo on Feb. 1.
“Americans want to know that the President remains laser focused on Jobs. Jobs. Jobs,” said Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future in a statement previewing the president’s State of the Union on Jan. 23.
“The top concern of Republicans here is jobs, jobs, jobs,” Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) told Human Events about Republican primary voters in South Carolina, published Jan. 21.
4. “America is at a crossroads” : 24 mentions
“We are at a crossroads in our system of government and our personal lives,” wrote Pieter Verboom in a letter to the editor, appearing in the Chico Enterprise-Record on Jan. 23.
“America is at a crossroads that will decide whether self-determination by a skeptical and informed electorate can still exist in the shadow of the billion dollar media blitz that defines modern politics,” wrote Stephen J. Stalcup in a letter to the editor in the Indianapolis Star, Jan. 20.
“America is at the crossroads. Do we choose the path of Obama which leads to a dark age of atheistic world communism, or the path of Christmas, the perpetual birth of God among us?” said Peter Arnone in a letter to the editor in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Dec. 12.
5. “It’s the economy, stupid” : 21 mentions
“In globalization, it’s the economy, stupid,” Ex-Sen. Fritz Hollings wrote in The Huffington Post on Jan. 27.
“‘It’s the economy, stupid’ was 1992’s winning campaign slogan, and the message will be just as effective 20 years later,” read a Washington Times editorial on Jan. 23.
“‘It’s the economy, stupid’ may not be either party’s official slogan in this year’s presidential campaign. But it might as well be,” wrote The New York Times’s Jeff Sommer, on Jan. 8.
6. “The only poll that matters is the one on Election Day” : 20 mentions
“Today, [Romney] is licking his wounds from a 12-point loss there in the only poll that matters, the one taken at the ballot box,” wrote the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Kyle Wingfield, on Jan. 23
“When it comes down to it, the only poll that matters is the election itself,” Jamelle Bouie wrote in the American Spectator, before the South Carolina primary, on Jan. 21.
“The ONLY poll that matters is the one registered in voting booths,” writes a blogger at The Patriot Post on Jan. 21, 2012.
7. “It all comes down to turnout” : 12 mentions
“The rest comes down to turnout: If enough conservative voters show up at the polls to unseat Obama, chances are they will have the same advantage in doing damage to Democrats in Congress,” wrote Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein in January’s Washington Monthly.
“It all comes down to turnout so going door to door calling people, trying to get them out — that’s the crucial focus,” a Romney campaign staffer is quoted by South Carolina outlet SCNews on Jan. 20.
“It’s going to come down to turnout,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, discussing his state’s caucuses, on Bloomberg, Jan. 3.
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