Say Something Once, Why Say It Again?

“The new economy” is Vice President Al Gore’s favorite phrase. It reminds people that the economy has been growing since Gore has been in the White House, and presumably will keep growing if Gore is elected president. On July 9, in a half-hour speech to the Center for National Policy, Gore referred to “the new economy” 76 times. This shatters the previous records for mantra repetition-also held by Gore-for “Medicare, Medicaid, education, and the environment” (October 1996) and “no controlling legal authority” (March 1997). Critics suggest that this kind of excessive repetition insults people’s intelligence. But is it really fair to accuse Gore of insulting people’s intelligence? There’s no evidence that people watching the speech felt that their intelligence was being insulted, or that Gore meant to insult their intelligence. He was just trying to get his point across.