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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Birth of the ‘Breck Girl’ Story Line

The tale of John Edwards’ $400 haircuts may have ended – or at least his campaign hopes it ended – when Mr. Edwards told Iowans on Friday that he was embarrassed by the episode. It arguably began four years ago this weekend with a story in The New York Times about the White House’s strategy for dealing with prospective Democratic challengers to President Bush.

In the last paragraph of that story, which I wrote with a colleague, Richard W. Stevenson, an unnamed “Bush associate” was quoted as referring to Mr. Edwards as “the Breck Girl of politics.” Another Bush adviser, again unnamed, was quoted as saying of Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, “he looks French.”

Adam Nagourney

This is classic Edwards:

Mr. Edwards’ advisers argued over the weekend that the financial circumstances of his life – he became wealthy as a trial lawyer – should not detract from the sincerity of his message, or the depth of his concern about issues of poverty.

Translation: That Edwards is very wealthy and shares nothing in common with the classes he incites to warfare with his hyperbole shouldn't be used against him. Also, the hypocrisy that he exhibits when insisting that other people should be willing to give up their wealth without even offering his should never, ever be mentioned in public. And by all means, no one should ever call Edwards a power whore.


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