Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Journalists often would prefer to think inside the box, stick with old paradigms and face fair-to-middlin' -- not perfect -- storms, rather than be caught blue-handed inserting a cliché into their stories. So it's always kind of amusing to hear a speaker or source use a cliché that you just know is going nowhere, quote-wise, in a story.
At the National Association of Counties meeting in Chicago this week, Dirk Kempthorne, former Boise mayor, and former governor and senator from Idaho, now Secretary of the Department of Interior, took the cake, I mean pie, on Sunday expanding a much-too-much-used expression.
While discussing $2.4 billion in conservation grants over five years, he went beyond the "win-win" cliché, even beyond the "it's a win-win-win situation." Kempthorne went the distance with a win-win (pause) win-win situation. Yes, that would be a win-win-win-win situation. He quite handsomely pulled off the quad. I don't think this could ever survive an editor's pencil in our magazine. Thank goodness for the anarchy of the Governing blog.
More on the 13th Floor: Cliché Watch
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.