In the wake of John F. Kerry’s “We’ve got better hair” comment at a Dayton, OH campaign stop yesterday, the Kerry-Edwards campaign dispatched a press envoy to Fox n’ Friends this morning to chat about the newly-minted duo and their electoral hopes. When this particular staffer (I forget her name) was pressed a bit about the “hair” comment, she said something to the effect that “the Senator was trying to inject a bit of levity into the campaign.” She then used “levity” at least three more times in the 30 seconds that followed. Something about the Senator being “full of levity” or somesuch, if I recall correctly. I half expected a “jocularity” or “whimsical” to escape her lips.
This struck me as a bit tone-deaf, to be perfectly honest. Firstly, “levity” is a bit of an S.A.T. word to be bandying about at 7:05 in the a.m. Perhaps that’s why she used it four times in short order – to give people a chance to reach for their dictionary. Secondly, as E.B. White put it: “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” If you have to explain a joke or claim “I have a sense of humor!”, you’re going to kill the effect.
I think they may have inadvertently handed the GOP a great straight line, though. Imagine:
- “Bush – Cheney 2004: Because the fate of America is no laughing matter.”
- “Kerry – Edwards ’04: What a joke!
Y’all at Elephant Headquarters are free to use those as you wish. *grin*