See Under: Gaffe

A guide to the jargon and minutiae of a US presidential election

01 October 2012

apology tour  Like every presidential election, the 2012 race officially began four years earlier, on the day after Barack Obama delivered his victory speech on 4 November 2008. During his first few months in office, Obama embarked on an effort to mend relations between America and its allies in a series of speeches abroad, an effort mostly notable for its warm reception among members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Most of these otherwise unremarkable speeches might be forgotten today, had they not been enshrined in Republican lore as something far more diabolical: a shameful “apology tour” in which the questionably American president sought forgiveness for America’s sins—which just happened to inspire the title of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s 2010 campaign book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.

Bain Capital  Wildly successful private-equity firm once headed by Romney, whose innovative work in venture capital and leveraged buyouts made him spectacularly rich, with a net worth estimated to be greater than $190 million (R10.26 billion). Romney’s stellar business record (rather than his tenure as a moderate Republican governor) became the cornerstone of both his campaign for president and Obama’s campaign against him—through a relentless series of attack ads that dominated swing-state airwaves all summer long, the most memorable of which more or less held Romney responsible for the death of one laid-off steel plant worker’s wife.

Chick-fil-A  Southern fast-food chain with no conceivable significance to this year’s presidential campaign that nevertheless became the centre of attention for six thrilling weeks of culture-war fever this summer, after its conservative Christian chief operating officer declared same-sex marriage was “inviting God’s judgement on our nation”.

Jonathan Shainin  is the Senior Editor at The Caravan.

Keywords: Barack Obama election American President campaign