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Eight great phrases or words to utilize if you are a politician

This story was written and edited by San Diego News Network on September 23, 2009.

See original copy of story.

As the political editor for SDNN, I’ve heard tons of key words and phrases politicians like to use. Since campaign season is in sight, I’d thought I’d help out candidates by letting them know what those key words and phrases are. But keep in mind, originality and honesty always win you the most points, at least I’d hope so.

1. “The voters have spoken” — This is your darn-my-proposition-lost-but-I-have-to-pretend-to-be-happy-about-it phrase. I must have heard this a million times in five interviews after California’s May 2009 Special Election.

2. “…In the best interest of the taxpayers” — Like Number 1, you’re telling constituents you care about their thoughts, needs and wants – you’re like better than a good girlfriend.

3. “Reform” — “Reform” is like the color black – it never loses its appeal despite the season. This works well if you’re competing against an incumbent because you’re noting that he or she isn’t doing enough, and you could do better.

4. “Tough decisions” — Not hard choices, not challenging assessments but tough decisions. A politician will often use this to say he or she has made the “tough decisions” needed (i.e. cuts to services) or will accuse another politician for not making the “tough decisions.” It’s a good one though, because if you use it, you’re saying you’re willing to make the necessary changes even if it hurts. It’s like tough love, baby, and you know what’s best.

5. “Fiscal responsibility” — These two words have been key during the recession. If you don’t use these words, you’re not a real politician. ‘Nuff said.

6. “Change” and “hope” — Riding the Obama wave, politicians from the Left and the Right are using these words. With the world in an economic turmoil, it could be smart. Encourage voters to “hope” and assure them “change” is just a few steps away.

7. “For the people” — When you’re a politician, everything is “for the people.” Of course, a few politicians probably don’t see it this way – but if you want to even be considered a politician, you better use this phrase as often as you breathe – all the time.

8. “On the backs of taxpayers” — My personal favorite, especially when a politician says it really mean. Grr. Lately though, many local politicians have been using this to describe California’s move to balance its budget “on the backs of local governments.” It’s a good one though, just be aggressive with it. (See how National City Mayor Ron Morrison uses it in the video).

Hoa Quach is the political editor for the San Diego News Network.