measuring the drapes

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 28 21:21:28 UTC 2010

Steve Benen posted a few minutes ago "NRCC STOPS MEASURING THE DRAPES"
at his blog. I was curious about the "measuring
the drapes" metaphor, as I recall it being around most of the time
since I developed interest in political speech. GB is not of much
help--nearly all the references are from the 1992 campaign, with Bush
people complaining--and Clinton people denying--that the Democrats are
"measuring the drapes" for the Oval Office. One Newsweek reference
from 1988 did pop up, but it was a snippet, so I can't even tell who
the author is [].

I thought someone might be interested in tracking this down and wanted
to mention it briefly.

I am not kidding about 1992--there are 6 hits for 1992, one for 1988,
and one for 1960 mocking of Sound of Music (literally referring to the
act of measuring the drapes). There is a bunch of other hits with
other versions of measur[], but only one is metaphorical and that's
also from 1992. This, indeed, covers the entire period of my interest,
but I actually expected the expression to have been older. I have not
tried searching newspapers.


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