Clinton and Obama spin including Penn debate

Here are the results of the analysis of spin for Clinton and Obama, using speeches from 2008, and the Penn debate last night. 19 is Clinton, and 39 is Obama.
Obama and Clinton including Penn debate

Clinton: blue dots; Obama: blue stars.

As I’ve noted before, Clinton in general uses less spin than Obama, except when she’s under pressure. It’s also clear from this figure that there is a significant difference between the two orthogonal to the line that indicates level of spin. This is almost entirely due to Clinton’s liking for action verbs, to which Obama is relatively allergic.

It’s not quite fair to compare debate content to prepared speeches, because a debate requires some level of responsiveness to questions (which changes the model of deception). However, it was clear that most of the answers last night were heavily prepped, so perhaps it’s not too different.

The striking thing is that both performances represent all-time lows in spin for both candidates. This is somewhat surprising since Clinton is presumptively in the last few days of her candidacy. Both candidates seem to have decided that they can only be who they are — which has to be a good thing.

Mind you, Obama is still in love with the pronoun “we”. He almost said “when we become president” last night!


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