by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Biden’s penchant for using the same phrases gave rise to the term “Biden-isms.” And his aides have a similar habit of relying on the same buzzwords.
Often, both tactics are aimed at appealing to the most liberal faction in his party, which he has worked to assuage amid a sometimes-shaky alliance.
The term “Biden-isms” covers Biden’s twin tendencies. For one, the president repeatedly uses folksy phrases, such as “here’s the deal.” What’s been problematic is his reputation for misspeaking, exaggerating, or saying things deemed inappropriate.
Biden and his administration have been more careful with the latter during his post-election transition and now in the White House. Coronavirus precautions have conveniently helped them stay on message by limiting unscripted access to the president, who has yet to hold his first solo press conference 55 days into his term.
But after campaigning against former President Donald Trump’s often-brash tone with a message that the words of a commander in chief “matter,” Biden and his staff are proving their own point by deliberately choosing language and rhetoric that sometimes has coded meanings.
Here are four examples of what might be dubbed “Biden’s buzzwords”:
… During tense questioning over the immigration situation at the United States-Mexico border, Psaki last week said: “We’re talking about children, I’m just level-setting here.” …
… ‘Equity’ and ‘equality’
“Equity” and “equality,” like “unity,” are key terms of Biden’s administration. The president, for instance, has a COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and a Gender Policy Council. But “equity” and “equality,” unlike the previous examples, are words aimed at underscoring policy differences between Biden and Trump, and Democrats and Republicans. …
… In: ‘Undocumented noncitizen.’ Out: ‘Illegal alien”
Another instance of a policy language pivot is, again, in the context of immigration.