Hillary's Paid Speech That Bothers Exactly Nobody: Read My Lips

A principled stand in favor of daisy chained serial interfacing.

"All of you put the Q in QC compliance."

Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Good morning, Tucson! It's wonderful to be here today to address you, the Amalgamated Union of Linear Displacement Transducers and Rotary Limit Switch Manufacturers.

Whether I was first lady, a U.S. senator or secretary of state, I was always pleased when I was able to join forces with the makers of NEMA 4 housing, which does such valuable work in combating the crisis of homelessness among outdoor relays and controllers. Whenever our great nation is under attack, either by Islamic extremists or pessimistic New York real-estate developers, Americans look at their single-pole double-throw switches and know everything will be OK.

Your organization has been an ally in leveling the playing the field to give women a fair chance in the workforce. In fact I see a woman right there, about 30 rows back, and another one way over there in the standing-room section. Pardon me? A man with long hair? OK, then we have one woman. Another crack in the glass ceiling.

We hear a lot about crumbling bridges and laid-off auto workers, but that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our shameful neglect of infrastructure and manufacturing.

There is, across this great land of ours, a yearning for the type of projects that rely on your measurement instruments, like molding machines, solar fields and bridge locks and dams. What can Asia and Morocco offer that Livonia and Murfreesboro can't?

Just last week, at a diner in New Hampshire, I met a grandmother who told me a revealing story about America's decline.

She had spec'd out Profibus before discovering the signal was ProfiNet, and yet the contractor thought it was -- are you ready for this? -- EtherCat. I know what you're thinking -- was it daisy-chained or star topography? IP67 or IP68 rated? I wondered that, too.

Should I become president of the United States, you'd better believe that we'll invest more in electromechanical instrumentation and devices, the ones that steer our economy by driving our ophthalmic lathes, our annunciators and actuators, and, of course, our secondary ion mass spectrometers.

Some have asked why I'm addressing you again after taking so much political heat for representing your interests and receiving your generous support. We're all aware that Congress, and the American people, aren't terribly fond of the work you do. I want you to know that I have your back. You are being unfairly blamed for that Super Bowl blackout, as if you were Wall Street in 2008 or something.

I'm happy to take some questions, so long as your leadership understands that it might cost more. I'm not sure what the contract says. It all depends on what you offered.

*****

In this season of nonstop political gabbing, television watchers may encounter terms that no longer mean what they used to. Here, a pundit-to-English glossary:

AS YOU KNOW

Definition: A term of mutual host-guest flattery, ensuring everybody comes out looking smart and worthy of rebooking.

Example: "I got to do this as governor, as you know, Joe, and we reduced drug abuse in our state." -- Jeb Bush, "Morning Joe," Jan. 5

Variants: "As you well know"; "As you know better than anyone"

 

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Definition: No other reporter is here at the moment.

Example: "(W)e have much more coming up in our sit-down with Lindsey Graham. Who will Graham throw his support behind in the primaries since he's dropping out? … More of our exclusive interview after this." -- Kate Bolduan, CNN's "At This Hour," Dec. 21

 

FRANKLY

Definition: A word that used to suggest that an acknowledgement of imperfection or vulnerability was forthcoming. Now used for exactly the opposite.

Example: "We also cannot settle for politicians who, frankly, will say whatever it takes to get elected but don't have a clue how to fix it." -- Carly Fiorina, "Morning Joe," Jan. 7

Variant: "Quite frankly"

 

LET'S TURN TO THE POLITICS

Definition: This subject makes my head hurt

Example: "And now we turn to the politics of corn." - Judy Woodruff, "PBS Newshour," Jan. 28

 

LOOK

Definition: The new "well."

Example: "Do you think the Iraq vote should still matter to voters?" "Look, I think that voters are perfectly free to take into account anything they want to take." - Chuck Todd and Hillary Clinton, "Meet the Press," Feb. 7

 

MUSCULAR

See "Robust." More often used in so-called "ego scoop" stories manipulated by the power structure behind the topic.

Example: "That's the message behind a muscular speech that Clinton is set to deliver today." - Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic, July 15, 2009. It was also used by Mike Allen of Politico on the same day. In fact, about the exact same subject. 

 

ROBUST

Definition: A stand-in for a breathtaking array of more-specific adjectives, including strong, fast, energetic, popular and better.

Example: "(W)e need a financial system that is much more robust, that is not as concentrated as it is right now." - Bernie Sanders, Bloomberg Television, Jan. 5

(Read My Lips is a column dedicated to the proposition that men and women in a position of power, or the pursuit of it, will say or do things for which they might be sorry.)

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