Kerry used to be the master of the focus-word-list style of campaign speechifying ("My fellow citizens, elections are about choices. And choices are about values..."), but Hillary blows Kerry away. You seldom caught Kerry lumping more than four focus words into a sentence, but check out Hillary's penultimate line. It's a six-word list: Principles, values, new ideas, energy, leadership, challenge. In fact the only focus words that Hillary left out of her speech, as far as I can tell, were freedom, pride, and truth. The key words - values, principles, change, heroes, future etc. - were mostly all double- or triple-represented.
Will the 2008 campaign see the world's first ten-focus-word sentence? I used to think that was an impossibility, but I'm beginning to wonder. Would you put a sentence like the following past Hillary Clinton?
The promise of America requires bold new leadership, leadership based on the principles and values of hope and optimism -- leadership with the vision to honor America's heroes and stand up to any challenge.
Hm, maybe I'm underestimating these people. That was too easy, insultingly easy in fact... Can we reach for a fifteen-word list maybe? I have no doubt that if it happens in the next two years, Hillary will be the record-setter.
2008 is just around the corner, kids.