Playbook: “There comes a point in every congressional negotiation where it would be helpful for Google Translate to have a feature to turn Capitol Hill speak to English. Political leaders talk in hard-to-decipher code that leaves reporters confused, markets seesawing and novice observers guessing what the heck everyone is talking about.”
A few examples:
- “We’ve had a good meeting, we’re making progress, good discussions”: Man, we’re screwed. This means nothing is going on, and the meeting might as well have been canceled. This is filler — and the worst kind of filler at that. When you’re having a good meeting, you don’t need to say it. You just have it. And, more times than not, when you have a good meeting, you don’t leave until that good meeting comes up with something better than “we had a good meeting.”
- “We’re now going to see the president to update him… talks are just beginning.” Mnuching said this Tuesday evening as he left the Capitol. This means talks are nowhere, and the administration is beginning to get frustrated.
- Metaphors galore: The 20-yard line, the 5-yard line — whatever. Imagined progress on a football field does not equate to real progress, and it’s a cheap way to try to say the process is moving.
- Trump’s silence: Untranslatable. It’s like Shalom in Hebrew: It can mean hi, goodbye or peace.