A Little Theocracy with your Convention?

Church and State, together again!

I’ve now updated the earlier table of word frequencies of the speeches at the Democratic national convention. I’ve added Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I’ve pulled this data from articles published by The Guardian (here, here, and here).

As you can see, there were a total of eight cases of pandering to the darker elements of humanity. That’s actually a surprisingly low number, but it only takes a tiny bit of plutonium to poison the water supply.

I’ll post a similar table for the Republicans, assuming The Guardian continues to publish their summaries. It will be a very interesting contrast.

H. Clinton B. Clinton Biden Obama
Total words NR 1655 2335 4786
God 4 0 2 2
America/American 27 30 22 52
Barack 11 15 27 NR
Obama 12 15 22 NR
Hillary NR 3 2 1
Clinton 1 0 2 2
Biden NR NR NR 9
Democrat/Democratic 8 2 1* 9
McCain 6 0 13 21
Bush 3 0 6 8
Republican 1 6 0 7
Hope NR 3 0 4
Promise NR NR NR 32
Change NR?!! NR?!! NR?!! NR?!!
I/my/me/mine 40 16 63 92
You/your 46 4 33 65
Iraq 3 0 6 7
Iran 1 0 3 2
Afghanistan NR NR NR 3
War NR NR NR 9
Women 10 0 2 5
Economy/economic 8 3 3 12
Health/healthcare 7 8 4 6
Child/children 11 4 8 10

NR = Not Reported
* Democratic Country of Georgia

The other weird thing is that The Guardian did not report on the number of times “change” was uttered in these speeches. Considering how that is Obama’s mantra, the omission is a glaring oversight.

6 Responses to “A Little Theocracy with your Convention?”

  1. Bunkie Says:

    Obama used the word ‘Change’ 15 times during his speech.

    The following (copy/pasted from the news released speech) would be a nice change…..

    Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism.

  2. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Bunkie – I agree

    Regarding this article, I’m actually shocked that Mrs. Clinton invoked “God” more than Obama. Obama talking about God does not surprise me in the least. He’s very, very religious. In fact, I’m a little surprised it wasn’t more prevelant. Does this count the time at the end he said “God bless?” He says that at the end of almost every speech. Honestly, I wouldn’t consider that a religion/government conflation since it’s really just more of a figure of speech than a declaration of blessing by one’s deity, despite it’s origins. Similar to many non-believers saying “bless you” to a sneeze — I know I do that.

    Well if we take out the ending “god bless,” that means he invoked “God” once in his long speech. That’s impressive, considering his religiousness. Contrast that with McCain’s speech. It will be interesting. McCain has not admitted it (it would be political suicide), but I’m not entirely sure he’s a believer. He may be, but he certainly doesn’t wear his religion on his sleeve like Bush. I’ve read that some people speculate he may be religiously apathetic. Unfortunately, his policies will advance the causes of the religiously evil (Robertson, Hagee, et al), so there is no way I would even entertain the thought of voting for him.

    What I’m curious about is how often he will say “God.” I look forward to Ron’s article (assuming the data is available). I want to go on record that I think he will mention God at least 8 times. And I also would bet that he will sound incredibly uncomfortable and constipated during his entire speech — but that goes without saying. 🙂

  3. Ron Britton Says:


    Both of Obama’s uses of the G-word were at the very end:

    Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.

    I disagree. It’s not a figure of speech. It is put in there deliberately. It rankles me every time I hear a politician say it.

    I think I heard somewhere that Reagan is the one who started this trend in modern times. I would have expected Carter (the preacher) to have done it, but I don’t remember. I certainly don’t remember Nixon saying it. It would sound bizarre coming from him.

    For another perspective, here’s an opinion piece out of a Christian magazine called World Magazine. Harrison Scott Key writes:

    Obama’s speech did end with a rousing final paragraph, even co-opting religious language in a way recent Democrats would never have dreamed he’d be doing it.

    Translation: God, God, God, God, The Bible, The Bible, Religion!, Religion!, God!

  4. Vjatcheslav Says:

    but it only takes a tiny bit of plutonium to poison the water supply

    10 to 15 kilogram is enough. Either you use it in a nuclear weapon, or you dump it and warn Greenpeace. Both are quite effective in the disruption they would cause.

  5. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Of course it is put in there deliberately. Part of Obama’s “problem” electorally is that tons of ignorant morons still think he’s a Muslim. He absolutely must put the stupid “god bless” garbage at the end or we’d never heard the end of it on the radio and the teevee about how he’s not a good christian because he didn’t invoke God in his entire speech.

    That being said, I still personally think the “god bless” invocations, however distasteful, are a far cry from, say, being in a church and hearing the same thing. It really is more of a figure of speech.

    Something to keep in mind about Carter is that he was very much a firm believer in the chruch/state separate philosophy. It does not surprise me that he never used that phrase in presidential speeches.

    Anyway, as much as I’d rather NOT hear it, I can accept the “god bless” garbage at the end (after all the policy stuff) MUCH better than when Bush would talk about how god was basically giving him permission to bomb other countries. That’s a helluva lot scarier. McCain will be using the same excuses, even if he is not as fundie as Bush (or even Obama for that matter).

    Strange bedfellows this election season.

    Anyway, I’m not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I’d rather Obama never mention god in political speeches, but if he feels he has to in order to win votes, I’ll bite my lip and wish him luck.

  6. Ron Britton Says:

    As of this morning, The Guardian has yet to publish any similar word counts of the Republican speeches. If they don’t, it will be simple enough for me to search the speeches for God. I’d still prefer to see it in context with the other keywords.