“Federal Family” Learns a Lesson About Disaster Politics By Chris Stirewalt
the Obama White House wanted to make sure that Irene was no Katrina and that, in fact, the president and his aides would be seen in compassionate command of the situation.
Hence the introduction of what may be the most condescending euphemism for the national government in its long history of condescending euphemizing: “federal family.”
This new phrase was supposed to, Power Play supposes, make anxious East Coasters feel the love of a caring federal government — tender squeeze from the Department of Homeland Security, a gentle embrace from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The phrase was a centrally distributed talking point, appearing in op-eds, press releases and statements from across the administration.
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