Florida, the Gift that Keeps on Giving

On Overstated, Cameron Marlow has created an interactive perl script that will scan the presidential and vice-presidential debate transcripts for particular phrases. For example, the Debate Analyzer lets you search for “hard work,” and you discover Bush repeated the phrase eleven times. The analyzer highlights the phrase and shows its context, enabling you to see that, in this case, Bush is mostly using it describe his job. Don’t you just feel so sorry for the man? Maybe he deserves some vacation time?

One thing I discovered with this tool is that in the first debate Kerry mentioned “Florida” twice, while Bush doesn’t mention the state by name at all, ever. It’s as if Bush is afraid to jinx the upcoming election by drawing people’s attention to the state. Pretty remarkable, considering the debate was held in Coral Gables, FL. Is Bush hoping Florida will once again be his trojan horse? Or is it a gift horse? Or simply a stolen horse?