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CBS hits the “g” spot

Barack Obama is about to make his much heralded trip overseas to the Middle East. And in their excitement CBS News has given us one of the first instances of the “g” word in the 2008 campaign:

A 12,000-mile trip in the middle of an election campaign is an unusual choice for any candidate, but for Obama it’s an attempt to demonstrate he has the necessary gravitas to maneuver through diplomatic minefields – especially in the volatile Mideast.

For those not familiar with the term gravitas, it means “weightiness” or “dignified demeanor”. Rush Limbaugh had a lot of fun with the word during the 2000 presidential campaign after the MSM used it ad infinitum in it’s analysis of George Bush choosing Dick Cheney as his running mate. Here are some examples from the transcript on Limbaugh’s website:

HUNT: He is a man who meets all George W.’s weaknesses: lack of foreign policy experience, lack of gravitas. I think now when Gore is trying to make the case of lack of gravitas against George W. …

WILLIAMS: Now we look and we see the son, who is seeking some gravitas, to say to people that he is an intelligent man…

SHIPMAN: There is a lot talk they are looking at older candidates, candidates with gravitas.

ROBERTS: He’s had health problems, uh, he’s worked for a Big Oil company, but he has the gravitas. You can sum it up in one word: stature.

FAZIO: I really believe that George W. Bush needed that perhaps more than anyone in recent memory because, if there is a rap about him, it may go to the gravitas issue.

GREENFIELD: If the question about Governor Bush was one of the weight, or to use the favorite phrase of the moment, “gravitas“…

ALTER: What he gets here is grav-i-tas, a sense of weight, competence, and administrative ability.

KERREY: I’ve gotta strengthen it in some fashion. I’ve gotta bring gravitas to the ticket.

KERREY: He does not need anybody to give him gravitas!

CARLSON: It means that Bush, you know, Gore has experience and gravitas.

McCURRY: I think he also needs to demonstrate some gravitas, too.

DONALDSON: …that he was put on the ticket, but by former President Bush, to give gravitas to the ticket.

CLIFT: Well, Dick Cheney brings congeniality and he brings gravitas.

ISAACSON: He does seem to bring some vigor as well as gravitas and stature to the ticket.

HUNT: It’s called “gravitas.”

NOVAK: Right.

SHIELDS A little gravitas!

WOODRUFF: You certainly have gravitas tonight.

DONALDSON: Displayed tonight a certain gravitas.

The transcript doesn’t do it justice — you really have to hear the audio to get the full hilarious effect. But this should give a clue as to just how easily and willingly the MSM will take a buzzword fed to them by the Democrats and run with it.

We will most certainly be hearing this term more and more in association with Barack Obama — but in a different way than with Bush. Don’t be surprised when you start hearing reports about the strong impression Barry made in Jordan and Israel. And be prepared after his whirlwind tour overseas is finished to start hearing about Obama’s “newly found gravitas“… the authority and presence he carried as he interacted with foreign leaders. How he behaved almost… dare we say… presidential.

We eagerly await the next montage…

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