In the past, Republican pollster Frank Luntz has been a pretty good ventriloquist on State of the Union night. The president opens his mouth and "luntzspeak
" spills out. Earlier in the week, someone forwarded along some of Mr. Luntz's musings. They are contained in a document called "An Energy Policy for the 21st Century," which offers eight -- count 'em, eight -- energy communication guidelines for 2005. Well, of course, it's 2006, but it seems a safe bet that some of what's in there will animate this evenings address. One phrase I expect to hear a lot is 21st century
, as in 21st century energy solutions
and 21st century innovation
. Of course, Luntz doesn't offer any many details about what that means (nor should you expect the President to), but hey, it's good to know that they know what century we're in.
In the memo, Luntz urges his party clients to flog two phrases in particular: energy independence and energy self-sufficiency. He offers this passage as "words that work."
We have the best scientists, the best engineers and the best technicians in the world. It's time to put them to work to develop a 21st century [there it is] energy program that leads America toward energy independence and self-sufficiency. If we can send a man to the moon, we can develop alternative sources of fuel right here on earth, and stop our dependence on Saudi oil.
And those words do work too, ... as words. If only it weren't just lip service.