Turning the corner on “turning the corner”

Topics: War Room,

Political slogans come and go, but CNN reports that President Bush seems to be nailing the coffin shut rather quickly on his latest stump speech refrain — the notion that America is “turning the corner.” And who could blame him? With disappointing job numbers out, escalating violence in Iraq and widespread dissatisfaction among seniors with the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, Bush’s “turning the corner” rhetoric can be turned around against him pretty easily.

In the days after the Democratic convention, Bush repeatedly said that the nation was “turning the corner” on jobs, “turning the corner” on education, and “turning the corner” in Iraq. But this week, CNN reports, “the ‘turning the corner’ line has disappeared from Bush’s speech, as Democrats seized on the words to charge that the president was out of touch.

CNN cited a July Gallup poll finding that 57 percent of Americans are not satisfied with how things are going in the country, and a top Bush aide told the network that the campaign’s internal polling showed the same thing.

The result: “Bush aides told CNN not to expect that line on the campaign trail anymore, saying it’s not working. Publicly, the Bush campaign maintains there is nothing unusual about the about the evolution of a stump speech.”

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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