Friday, April 16, 2010

Why Acronyms Aren't Always a Good Idea in Politics

Acronyms are a common fixture in politics. For example, many people have likely heard the term RINO for Republican In Name Only. However, acronyms can easily backfire on a campaign, especially when the opponent's campaign is filled with clever wisecrackers.

Carly Fiorina's Sentate campaign attempted to brand her opponent Tom Campbell, who is a well-established, fiscal conservative, as a FCINO via her campaign's bizarre Demon Sheep advertisement. What does FCINO mean? According to the Fiorina campaign, it means Fiscal Conservative In Name Only. The Campbell campaign cleverly shot back with Fact Checking Is Not Optional.

Likewise, President Obama's Organizing for America is selling T-shirts proudly proclaiming that "Health Reform is a BFD." What does BFD mean in this context? Exactly what you think. It's a polite version of Vice-President Biden's candid and quiet comment to President Obama, caught on an open microphone. I saw an alternate version of the shirt, slightly modified, that proclaimed instead that "Health Reform is a BFD, Big Financial Disaster." Question: Does anybody know who sells these?

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