Don't Say 'Recession,' Say 'Recovery'

Obama uses focus groups, polls to sell stimulus package
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2009 5:59 PM CST
President-elect Barack Obama smiles during a news conference in Washington today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – It’s not “infrastructure,” it’s an “investment.” It’s not a “recession,” it’s a “recovery.” Such are the pearls of wisdom Team Obama is spreading to congressional allies, Bloomberg reports. Gleaned from focus-group research and polling, these linguistic tweaks are designed to sell a nearly trillion-dollar measure to the public. But Obama aides insist they’re only testing language—not the package’s actual substance.

“Not unlike news organizations, we poll public attitudes about where the economy is,” said Obama’s press secretary. “We’re not polling to see what should be in the economic recovery plan.” So far, results are positive. “People don’t know the details,” said Nancy Pelosi, "but they like the brand.”