That whirring sound

I’ve reanalyzed the 5 most important speeches from the DNC. As expected, Obama’s speech on Thursday had extremely high spin, mainly because he reverted to the speech patterns of his early speeches: heavy use of “we”, hardly any first-person singular pronouns, and little complexity (only an occasional “but” or “or”). Through the campaign, this speech pattern has been associated with times when he feels that things are not going well; when he’s under direct pressure (e.g. Wright) and when things are going well, his speech patterns are much lower spin.

The overall ranking for the five speeches is:

Barack Obama +6.7

Bill Clinton +2.6

Hillary Clinton +0.15

Joe Biden -3.5

Michelle Obama -5.9

where positive numbers mean high spin; the magnitudes have no absolute meaning, but they allow relative levels of spin to be compared. Notice how much the presence of Obama’s speech in the set lowers the apparent spin of the two Clinton speeches as reported yesterday.

The results here are based on deception-detection technology that I’ve written about here before, and there’s more information at my web site (follow the links at the side).


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