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Phrase of the Day: "Bully Pulpit"

From the Hackneyed Phrase Dept.

The hackneyed phrase of the day is "Bully Pulpit." It was coined by Theodore Roosevelt and means, roughly, a political office or other position that is high enough to be used as a platform to push an agenda. The Presidency, for example, is the epitome of such an office.

The term has been tossed around by political talk show hosts and reporters over the past few days to describe President Obama's position and how he's using it to advocate the Stimulus Bill. Only they're kind of criticizing him for not using the Bully Pulpit enough in the early going.

"When you've got the Bully Pulpit, you might as well use it," said one MSNBC reporter.

I'm not particularly fond of the phrase, myself. Just doesn't feel right coming off the tongue. It just sounds too antiquated, and too evocative of a long, long-gone era when life and politics were a bit rougher around the edges. I imagine a union boss with his shirt sleeves rolled up and a billy club in his hand, waving it his workers to make his points. Or maybe it's the memories of 10th grade history class. I don't know.

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