Words don't lie, part IV: Candidates debate role of plumbers in the White House

Dennis Baron debaron at illinois.edu
Thu Oct 16 18:17:57 UTC 2008

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

Words don't lie, part IV: Candidates debate role of plumbers in the  
White House

Although the candidates did occasionally discuss substantive issues  
like school vouchers, abortion, and the principles they might use in  
selecting Supreme Court justices, the most riveting part of last  
night's third and final presidential debate, held at Long Island's  
Hofstra University, came when John McCain looked straight into the  
camera and asked the American people, "Why can't you ever get a  
plumber when you need one?"

Blinking rapidly, McCain pointed at Sen. Obama and said, "The answer,  
my friends, is that one."

Showing a firm hand at the tiller, McCain told the sad story of Joe  
the Plumber, who has been working 12- and 14-hour days for years, and  
now he's saved up a little money and he wants to buy the business.  
Only he can't. The reason? Sen. Obama's soak-the-rich tax plan.

Sen. Obama patiently explained that his tax plan would mean tax cuts  
for most Americans, and that, if he becomes a small business owner,  
Joe won't have to buy his employees health care plans if he doesn't  
want to.

Sen. Obama couldn't have known this – he was only eight years old at  
the time – but the government failed to bail out plumbers twice  
before. . . .

find out how the US failed its plumbers before. Read the rest of this  
post on the Web of Language

Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

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