In campaign speeches, Biden said 'middle class' 38 times

When a reporter poses a question to the Obama campaign team about how the president will contrast himself with Mitt Romney, Team Obama points to the five "framing" speeches that Vice President Joe Biden has delivered over the last six weeks as the core of their reelection message.

It is no surprise to voters that campaign speeches are tested in polls and focus groups to within an inch of their lives. So we decided to reverse engineer the campaign's messaging by looking at the most commonly used expressions in the first four Biden campaign speeches. (The vice president delivered the fifth one today in New York on the topic of foreign policy.)

As you might expect, the word "jobs" is the most common substantive word Biden uttered, clocking in with 67 mentions over the course of the four speeches. For compound phrases, Biden harped on the "middle class" far more than any other subject. And, of course, Mr. Biden offers up many references to the "president and I" as a healthy reminder that he is a full partner in the administration.

Also breaking into the double digits is the phrase "coming back." If the Obama-Biden team can convince Americans that the country is indeed "coming back" from the worst economic recession in decades and brighter days are upon us, it will go a very long way in accomplishing its mission. The top 15 phrases are diagrammed below. (Note: singular and plural versions of words are combined.)

 

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