NC-11 GOP: Names emerge amid weasel words


Catching up with items that have been sitting in my RSS feeds since Election Day, I got the impression that the 2010 NC-11 congressional primary race has already begun.

I found a story from last week on the Hendersonville Times-News’ website (like I said, I’m way behind) that, among other things, details the local Republican Party’s efforts to regroup and look toward 2010. Toward the end of the article, a group of potential candidates are thrown at the wall; it’s up to the voters (and the potential candidates, of course) to see what sticks.

Some names being discussed as potential Republican candidates to oppose Shuler in 2010 are Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chairman Nathan Ramsey, state Sen. Tom Apodaca, Henderson County District Attorney Jeff Hunt, former Henderson County Republican Party Chairman Spence Campbell and former Henderson County Sheriff George Erwin.

Many of these names will be familiar to regular readers, and an article that appeared on the T-N’s website this morning expanded on the idea of a possible George Erwin candidacy:

Erwin said a lot of Republican activists and friends have contacted him since the election, encouraging him to run for Congress in two years.

“They really want me to run and seek the seat,” Erwin said. “I am seriously looking at it, but have not made a decision.”
“If I get in, I am in to win,” Erwin said.

And, of course, one more name was tossed off in the previously mentioned article:

Also, some Republicans say it is not out of the question that former Congressman Charles Taylor would try for a re-match against Shuler.

[S]ome Republicans? Umm…

Weasel words are usually expressed with deliberate imprecision with the intention to mislead the listeners or readers into believing statements for which sources are not readily available.
The expression weasel word derives from the egg-eating habits of weasels. An egg that a weasel has sucked will look intact to the casual observer, while actually being empty. Similarly, words or claims that turn out to be empty upon analysis are known as “weasel words”. The expression first appeared in Stewart Chaplin’s short story Stained Glass Political Platform (published in 1900 in The Century Magazine), in which they were referred to as “words that suck the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel sucks the egg and leaves the shell.”

One specific example of weasel words: “Some people…”

Not only does this mean nothing on the surface, but in this case it seems to indicate some sort of projection of wishful thinking. When the article’s author asserts that some Republicans say that a Shuler-Taylor rematch wouldn’t be out of the question, neither would the reader’s assumption that the author has his fingers crossed.

Well, so do I. Not only would this make 2010 one of the most entertaining off-year election seasons to date, it would be ridiculously easy to cover. All we’d have to do is link to our archives. Whether any viable Democratic primary challengers will emerge in the next several months remains to be seen.

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