“What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable.” – Chris Christie
At first, I thought that was just a ham-fisted way to mention that he’s never heard of the gleefully routine pettiness of his high level staff and associates. It’s an awfully laid out sentence in what should have been a manicured press release. My initial reaction was to adjust it for him.
What I’ve seen today (for the first time) is unacceptable.
But you really can’t have a parenthetical statement in the opening line of a press release, either. It seems too meandering. So then I thought that he could at least have handled it with some commas.
What I’ve seen today, for the first time, is unacceptable.
That’s still pretty shit, though. In fact, it’s damn near Yodaspeak. So I meditated on that sentence some more, realizing that the smart move was to not try to cram in the “but guys, I’m blameless” buffer into that statement. Yet they want it in there because, since that’s the line that will be quoted, the press will do their work of driving the narrative that Christie had no idea about the lane closures. I spent a long time thinking on it before realizing the truth. It’s not an awkward sentence. It’s a Freudian slip.
What I’ve seen today, for the first time is unacceptable.
“Yeah, I knew my little stooges were doing this shit. That’s how we roll, after all. The voters wanted to elect Tony Soprano, and they got what they voted for. Hell, I’m probably the one who came up with this crap in the first place. But now that we’ve been caught? That shit is suddenly an outrage. Before they had us dead to rights, I didn’t care. But for the first time, I now find it unacceptable.”
Language, kids. Language always gives you away.