Say No to "Joe," "Change". . .

And six other campaign cliches that need to go.

During the Democratic primaries, the word everyone got real sick of real fast was "change." Now that "change" has subsided to a degree, America can't seem to get enough of "Joe," whether Lieberman, Biden, Six-Pack, or now Joe the Plumber. Just when will all the Joe-ing stop? Soon, hopefully.But while we're still talking about Joe, couldn't McCain have picked a more sympathetic blue-collar profession to fellate in last week's debate than plumbing? People usually hate to call plumbers, who are to home maintenance as dentists are to personal health: They have a reputation as ripoff artists, and they wear saggy pants. This is probably why Joe the Plumber can afford to start his own business, because he's been gouging the fuck out of Joe Six-Pack all these years.Anyway, besides "change" and "Joe," here's a six-pack of additional phrases that would be best struck from the linguistic record between now and Election Day:1. Game-changer. Lifted from the wide world of sports, this term was entered into the '08 vernacular by the Clinton camp—only it doesn't seem to want to exit as gracefully as Hillary did. Enough already with the changing of the games—this election is more than a game.2. My friends. John McCain must be a lucky guy to have all these friends. To hear him talk, everyone is his pal. But I'm calling major bullshit on one thing: He referred to Joe the Plumber of Ohio as his "old buddy" last week. What, do these guys go way back? I think not.3. Middle class. Sen. Obama is no doubt savvy to focus his homestretch message on improving economic conditions for the middle class. But there's a fine line between focus and obsession.4. Fannie and Freddie. I liked it a lot better when I equated these names with sweet, elderly extras from Fried Green Tomatoes, not the financial equivalent of the Titanic.5. Maverick. This requires no further explanation. Let's just say the Dallas Mavericks are considering changing their name to the Conformists.6. Main Street. Since the market crashed, politicians have been hell-bent on placing the interests of Main Street over those of Wall Street. But most of the Main Streeters I know just want them to help save Wall Street. And what about the people on 133rd Street? Doesn't anyone care about them?

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