'Change': An Empty Word in the 2008 Campaigns? In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, writer Timothy Noah takes a hard look at the long history of "change" rhetoric in presidential campaigns. "If every Hillary, Mitt and Barack promises it," Noah asks, "how can it mean anything?"
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'Change': An Empty Word in the 2008 Campaigns?

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'Change': An Empty Word in the 2008 Campaigns?

'Change': An Empty Word in the 2008 Campaigns?

'Change': An Empty Word in the 2008 Campaigns?

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Read the Op-Ed

In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, writer Timothy Noah takes a hard look at the long history of "change" rhetoric in presidential campaigns. "If every Hillary, Mitt and Barack promises it," Noah asks, "how can it mean anything?"

Diversifying the 'Change' Rhetoric

Diversifying the 'Change' Rhetoric

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Everybody is talking about "change" — all of the presidential candidates are, anyway. The word factors into every debate and every campaign speech. We think it may be time to diversify the rhetoric a little bit. Michele Norris and Robert Siegel offer a few alternatives to "change."

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

There are no returns in yet from New Hampshire, but we think it's safe to declare the official word of this week in the presidential campaign.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

Is there any candidate who is not promising change?

NORRIS: Change is coming to America.

NORRIS: Washington needs fundamental, top to bottom change.

NORRIS: I know that I have been an agent of change.

NORRIS: My message is entirely about change.

NORRIS: I am offering 35 years of experience making change.

NORRIS: Well, for candidates looking to personalize the rhetoric, we offer some alternatives.

SIEGEL: Courtesy of Merriam-Webster, vote for the candidate of alteration, modification, variation, transfiguration, rectification.

NORRIS: Rectification? Okay. How about transformation or metamorphosis or the candidate of refashioning, revamping, reworking? How about just difference?

SIEGEL: And from Roget, the candidate of shift, of substitution, transformation, transmutation. Maybe not transmutation.

NORRIS: I don't think so. A little too sci-fi. We're talking about a potential commander in chief, not the commander of some spacecraft. Just a few suggestions for alternatives there. Then again, do we really expect anything to...

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