Obama Brings 'Shovel-Ready' Talk Into Mainstream
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The image is positively retro.
Picture a sweaty brow, rolled-up sleeves, knotty forearms, calloused hands. Picture virgin land, just waiting to be transformed.
This is America on the eve of the Obama era.
He keeps telling us so. On "Meet the Press," fill-in host Tom Brokaw wants to know how quickly Barack Obama can create jobs, and the president-elect promises to move fast. After all, he says, he's met with a bunch of governors "and all of them have projects that are shovel-ready."
Announcing his energy team, Obama beams about "shovel-ready projects all across the country." Unveiling his choice for education secretary, Obama plugs his plans "to start helping states and local governments with shovel-ready projects."
So many shovels.
All of them, apparently, quite ready.
But what the heck does this mean, and where does shovel-ready come from? Ah, this requires a word detective.
We place a call to Obama's transition flack. No response.
Conclusion: not answer-ready.