The shutdown showdown — in 2 word clouds

October 12, 2013

What's the one word (or handful of words) that you would use to describe how Republicans have handled themselves during the showdown shutdown? What about President Obama?

The pollsters for the NBC-Wall Street Journal did just that.  The responses are illuminating.

Here's the Republican word cloud:


Image courtesy of NBC-WSJ

And here's President Obama's:


Image courtesy of NBC-WSJ

That "poorly" is so prominent in both word clouds speaks to the fact that shutting down the federal government rarely produces winners but rather losers and those who don't lose as much.

That said, there's some tough news for Republicans in the word clouds. While "standing strong for what he believes" is commonly mentioned in relation to the President, it comes up far less for Congressional Republicans -- evidence that they have lost the fight over who is acting on principle and who is playing politics. And, the most mentioned words/phrases for the GOP  -- "poorly", "terribly", "childish" and "not very well" are something short of encouraging for the GOP.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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Chris Cillizza | October 11, 2013