Campaign-speak – the language spoken by professional political types – is a language that resembles English, but that often makes you scratch your head wondering if the people employing it really meant what they appear to have just said.
Consider the case of Amy Goodrich, the Baker campaign spokeswoman who recently declared that Team Baker was “happy to provide a platform” for a guy whose business went bankrupt allegedly because he drained a lot of the cash for personal luxury items while also violating the state’s wage laws. She’s got another doozy in today’s Herald.
See, the Herald story says that a variety of unions are declining to back Governor Patrick because he has taken stands that they don’t support. Flaggers, the Quinn bill, slots at the tracks, and some education issues are the big ones. As a result,
Massachusetts unions once wed to Gov. Deval Patrick are divorcing the Democrat as the final stretch of the contentious campaign approaches, with some jumping into the arms of independent Tim Cahill and others refusing to endorse at all with Labor Day looming…. Reached yesterday, [MA AFL-CIO] president Robert Haynes said because of the sour economy and Patrick’s failure to pass casinos, the union may endorse another candidate this time around. Similarly, the Boston Teachers Union, which backed the little-known Patrick in the primary in 2006, says it’s staying out.
Did you get all that? Patrick has taken stands contrary to what the unions wanted; as a result, they are not backing him.
So here’s Amy Goodrich:
“Charlie Baker is the only candidate who’s going to stand up to the unions,” Goodrich said.
Wait, what? But Amy, Deval Patrick already stood up to the unions. That is why they’re not backing him. In contrast, Charlie Baker did not stand up to the police unions, caving to them on both details and the Quinn bill in a transparent (and failed) bid to get their support.
So I gather that “stand up to” in campaign-speak translates to “cave into” in ordinary English. Got it.