Changing spin over time

I’ve updated yesterday’s results to include the prepared text of Obama’s speech on Iraq yesterday. The new speech, numbered 39 in the figure, is one of his most spinful.

Spin in speeches to March 19th

I’ve also looked at how Clinton’s and Obama’s spin has changed over time.

Clinton started out talking fairly straight, but her spin has been increasing (lower on the graph) recently.

Clinton spin over time

Obama’s level of spin has always been quite high. However, after a patch of much less spin, his last two speeches, on race and on Iraq, have had very high levels of spin.

Obama’s spin over time

It’s also interesting how much variation there is from speech to speech. Some of this is probably due to the topic; speeches that involve telling one’s own story naturally produce lower spin scores, and all three candidates spend some time helping people get to know them (or their personas 🙂 ). There may be some variation because of which speechwriter(s) actually created the text. We were surprised, initially, that there were typical levels of spin because any speech is the product of several people, not just one. But it seems like a good speechwriter must produce something that the candidate is able to say in a natural way, and so aligns with what the candidate would have said.

I don’t know why these figures render so poorly. Any suggestions appreciated.

This is the beginning of the Easter weekend. I won’t post again until Tuesday, unless something time-sensitive happens.


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