First National Change Party

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I know it's long over -- a whole five days ago -- but just for fun, I wanted to count the uses of the word "change" in the Democratic debate last weekend.

(No, I didn't count by hand ... I'm a Perl programmer!)

The exact word "change" appears 68 times, out of 16,786 words (0.4 percent of all words used). After removing common words -- "the," "to," "and," "I," etc. -- only four words were used more often than "change": "know," "think," "people," and "President." If you add in variants ("changes," "changing"), then "change" appears 80 times, beating out "President."

The scorecard was: Clinton 27, Edwards 18, Obama 16, Richardson 7, WMUR anchor Scott Spralding 7, ABC anchor Charles Gibson 5.

And yet, the only things I know of that any of them want to change is increasing the amount of government control over our lives.

It's not that I am against change. But I am against a philosophy of change for the sake of change. And that is what I am hearing, especially out of Edwards and Clinton. Most things do not need change. Most things are just fine. Most things are better than bad: they're good.

It is, frankly, intellectually offensive to me to be running on a platform of "change," because I don't want someone who is going to be for change, I want someone who is going to be for specific changes ... and will leave everything else alone.

Clinton says, "I am offering 35 years of experience making change and the results to show for it." It brings to mind the old SNL skit for First Citiwide Change Bank, a bank that does nothing except make exact change: "All the time, our customers ask us, 'How do you make money doing this?' The answer is simple: Volume. That's what we do."

Or, at least, it's what they want to do.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on January 9, 2008 7:04 PM.

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