Politics and The English Language

Washington Post Metro Columnist Marc Fisher takes O’Gov to task about the drastic difference between his rhetoric and his actions, specifically on his differing stances on slots and same-sex marriage before and after the 2006 election.

Okay, so a politician flip-flops on two sensitive issues. Wake me when you have some real news, right? Except that O’Malley, more than almost any other politician these days, rose to power on his soaring rhetoric about government’s obligations to the poor and others who have been left out. In an age when pols speak mostly in pre-masticated, focus-grouped slogans, O’Malley delivers elegant paragraphs laced with poetry and Scripture. He is, almost uniquely in elective politics, a man of the word….

Bottom line: Words matter, especially for a politician who’s built his career on his ability to inspire.

“Believe,” said the billboards Mayor O’Malley erected in Baltimore to instill hope in a dying city.

It’d be a shame if voters watching Gov. O’Malley had to conclude that they just don’t know what to believe.

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