Politics in the land of the short-attention-span is often reduced to sound bites.
But really good sound bites convey an image that can stick in the mind and summarize the gist of an hour-long speech. “Read my lips.” “City on a hill.” “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” “Ask not what your country can do you …” “A date which will live in infamy …”
Nevada Sen. Dean Heller trotted out his latest sound bite effort during a speech at the Western Republican Leadership Conference at the Venetian. He used it a couple of times.
“The question is: Do we continue down this same path of bigger government, higher unemployment, less prosperity for future generations or do we change our course?
“What we need to understand is that in the wake of all these stimulus plans we’ve passed in Washington, D.C., Nevada’s lost nearly 30,000 jobs.
“And it proves one thing: Government does not create jobs that pays the bills. What government does is create jobs that become the bills.”
Not bad. A little too long. Requires a set up.
He then ticked off the litany of woe since Obama became president to support his contention:
— Gasoline prices up 100 percent.
— Federal debt increased 35 percent.
— Health insurance premiums up 19 percent.
— Housing values in Nevada dropping somewhere between 20 and 40 percent.
“How is this agenda working for you?” another sound bite he’s been prone to use.
The first question from the audience was about an editorial in that morning’s Review-Journal about a ludicrous sound bite from this state’s senior senator, who had said, “And it’s very clear that private sector jobs have been doing just fine; it’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about.”
Actually, as I pointed out in an earlier blog posting, The Wall Street Journal and Investor’s Business Daily also upbraided the Senate majority leader and detailed the stats that prove the statement to be a bald-faced lie.
In answering the question, Heller repeated the jobs/bills quip, replete with the subject/verb agreement colloquialization.
But he also was prepared with the stats, noting the private sector unemployment nationally is 9.1 percent compared to 4.7 percent for those in the public sector.
In the battle of the sound bites, Heller’s counterpunch is a TKO.
In order to make Harry Reid the minority leader, Heller said the Republicans need to pick up four seats, including his own in a contest against Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.
Here is Heller talking about jobs and the economy in August. The business leader he paraphrases is Steve Wynn, who used that sound bite several times in the past few months:
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