On Feb. 11 Rick Hertzberg posted an item on his New Yorker blog titled "Shorter Cable Pundit." It was pure genius. Here it is in its entirety:
"At the end of the day, the game changer is a narrative that resonates going forward."
My only (very slight) criticism is that Rick didn't find a way to work in "pivot." When did we all start talking about candidates "pivoting" hither and yon? It's a euphemism for, at best, "changing the subject" and, at worst, "contradicting himself/herself." I can see why political consultants want to use it, but I don't understand why political journalists, who are employed to call politicians on their manipulations and contradictions, have embraced it. Actually, I do know. It's the journalists' pathetic desire to be seen as insiders. The pros understand this weakness and shape their jargon accordingly. That's why they're pros.
Mitt Romney is, of course, America's pivoter-in-chief. I'm already bracing myself for political reporters' appreciative assessments, once Romney nails down the nomination, of how seamlessly Romney "pivots" to more moderate positions for the general election. I think news editors should consider banning this horrible euphemizing cliche from political coverage. While they're at it they can ban "at the end of the day," "game changer," and "narrative." ("Resonate" and "going forward" I'd put on probation pending further study of their overuse.)