Methinks she doth repeat too much
Ever notice how often Hillary Clinton begins answers to reporters' questions with clauses such as, "As I've said repeatedly" or "We've addressed this on several previous occasions"? Come to think of it, President Obama uses the very same linguistic trickery, but I've yet to catch Donald Trump doing it.
When you step back and look at what's going on, several things might be. To preface with "as I've said repeatedly" suggests that we – the childish listening audience – simply weren't paying attention the first time. So, like a frustrated schoolmarm, Ms. Clinton sighs and deigns to explain all over again for us deplorable remedial learners. What a chore it must be for her heinous to lower herself to the level of those not anointed with her perfect wisdom, memory, and intellect. Furthermore, how often do media sleuths actually check to see if she did indeed state the answer in question on many previous occasions?
"As I've said before" is the perfect lead in to "that's old news; let's move forward." Both phrases reinforce each other, bamboozling listeners into a head scratcher, momentarily shifting from veracity to chronology. Her technique not only reflects a supercilious smugness; it has the intended purpose of tamping down further questioning.
No self-respecting reporter wants to be walloped with the stupid stick in front of his peers or editors. After all, was he not paying attention the first time? Weren't we taught in school that there are no silly questions except for the ones not asked? But apparently Hillary thinks any touchy question is redundant old news or beneath her dignity to answer.
In the last few weeks before election day, I'm watching even more closely to see if she literally sighs out loud and rolls her eyes. I'm hoping she does just that from the debate stage. When camera lights begin to shine into her dark corners, she refers to footnotes of prior comments instead of speaking honestly and directly. Maybe she could just clear her throat one more time, get down to the answer, and skip the pedantic, annoying preface.
Loren can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.