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the future for the presidential candidates is cloudy
May 4, 2007 12:28 PM   Subscribe

Tag-clouds for the first debates of the Democratic and Republican primaries. via the kreat orange satan
posted by geos (28 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
it was interesting to see that the third tier candidates like say Biden and Ron Paul tended to have very evenly distributed words. as a very unscientific observation I would say that the candidates best able to communicate their message (in a relentlessly TV driven political evironment) are those able to repeat simple phrases clearly.

By that standard Edwards and Clinton in the democratic primary and Huckabee and Romney in the republican primary seem to have the most concentrated message...

surprisingly Obama looks, well, cloudy from his tag-cloud.

also, tag cloud, tag-cloud, tagcloud?
posted by geos at 12:32 PM on May 4, 2007


Odd, Guilliani gets a big YORK but no NEW - zapped by some kind of common word filter perhaps?

So are people generally okay with the use of term Tag Cloud even if it's actually just sizing words according to usage in a body of text? I was writing a little mini app that did just that and I was debating whether it was the right term.
posted by Artw at 12:39 PM on May 4, 2007


and the tagclouds were created by:

tagcrowd.com
posted by geos at 12:40 PM on May 4, 2007


Thought it was interesting that McCain and Clinton both had "president" as one of their main words. Those two, to me, are the closest to power and thus lust after it the most.
posted by cell divide at 12:40 PM on May 4, 2007


Huh. Really interesting. More interesting than the actual debates if you ask me. I can imagine future political analysis where past debates are mapped with tag clouds to determine which words winning candidates used most. It would also be interesting to see who got the most words in and how that correlates to election/poll performance.
posted by malaprohibita at 12:41 PM on May 4, 2007


zapped by some kind of common word filter perhaps?

well you have to or 'a' and 'the' will dwarf everything else... though 'new' seems like it ought not to be filtered. it seems like depending on the content certain words should be filtered, which might be hard to do algorithmically.
posted by geos at 12:42 PM on May 4, 2007


Let the armchair psychologizing begin!
posted by Falconetti at 12:44 PM on May 4, 2007


I can imagine future political analysis where past debates are mapped with tag clouds to determine which words winning candidates used most.

what do you think all those political 'consultants' are doing? Ever since JFK, TV messaging/marketing consultants have dominated national politics in the US. Ronald Reagan and Clinton I, represent the high-points for each party in terms of TV friendly candidates.
posted by geos at 12:47 PM on May 4, 2007


Romney totally was playing the Reagan game..check his words out compared to the others.
posted by amberglow at 12:52 PM on May 4, 2007


I could not believe these videos. I'm sure that these clowns will never get elected but then again, I said the same thing in 1999 about GWB.
posted by dobbs at 12:55 PM on May 4, 2007


Yeah, Romney really sticks out. This is a great tool for analysis.
posted by vacapinta at 12:55 PM on May 4, 2007


Arrgh. One and Two.
posted by dobbs at 12:57 PM on May 4, 2007


Very concise and intriguing if not outright revealing. Obama's set standout as being the least buzzword-y among the Democrats. Hilary's set makes it look like she just kept saying "Ready to be President. Ready to be President. Ready to be President."
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:09 PM on May 4, 2007


zapped by some kind of common word filter perhaps?

The last sentence of the second paragraph on the Republican link specifically says that common words were filtered, and points to Guliani and "new" as a specific example.
posted by tadellin at 1:12 PM on May 4, 2007


Presidential candidates' website tag clouds.
The site appears to be overloaded at the moment.
posted by Mblue at 1:17 PM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Very fascinating.
posted by billypilgrim at 1:22 PM on May 4, 2007


Rally great and timely post.

I'm game for putting previous debates through a similar system and comparing our results to those of the formal "winner" if anyone else is.

These debates are usually a matter of public record and are available back to Nixon-Kennedy.

Anyone interested or at least know of an intuitive tag cloud programs? I think it would be an interesting experiment in message and communications.
posted by willie11 at 1:25 PM on May 4, 2007


duh, tagcrowd. sorry
posted by willie11 at 1:28 PM on May 4, 2007


Thanks for the link to that website. It's fantastic. Going in the bookmarks...
posted by switchsonic at 1:55 PM on May 4, 2007


These clouds are more important to the GOP base than any other: ... Substance isn't important, policy and experience are not important, it's the "presidential look and feel" that are critical to the GOP at this point in time. The base wants someone to sell them bullshit, someone whose eyes sparkle when they say "a thousand points of light" when what they really mean is "screw the poor" because the mouth breathers don't quite feel good about that and they really, really want to. Ronald Reagan gave them that, and those who remember him as "The Great Communicator" (*cough*) were only to happy to let him unlock the gate and let all his rich buddies in to loot the place in return. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:08 PM on May 4, 2007


Interesting stuff, I watched some of the GOP debate and was struck by how many of them I'd never heard of before.

I find it rather interesting that there are a whole bunch of comments on the Democrat tag cloud link and not a single one on the GOP tag cloud link.
posted by fenriq at 2:35 PM on May 4, 2007


I think I'd vote for Duncan Hunter if he cut out the ephemera and just shouted "BORDER! FENCE!" during his speeches.
posted by Simon! at 3:32 PM on May 4, 2007


Interesting time analysis--Romney had the most.
posted by amberglow at 3:39 PM on May 4, 2007


I bet they filter out numbers too and all of the "Yorks" were along the lines of "The Iraqo-Saddamists who hit New York on 9/11".

Also, it seems pretty revealing that Romney felt it necessary to hammer on "America" and "American". Mormons feel like foreigners to most of America.

And I can see why the "true conservatives" like Thompson--he's all about the states. Of course, these same "true conservatives" also support Bush. You remember, the guy that took the National Guard soldiers from the states and also wanted to overrule the state of Florida on Schiavo. But he (back to Thompson now) knows how to talk the talk they say they want to hear.
posted by DU at 5:27 PM on May 4, 2007


What's the deal with the word "going" and the Republican candidates? Is it simply an abundance of forward-looking statements?
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:30 PM on May 4, 2007


Actually, that's not the Thompson that true conservatives like -- it's Tommy, and they like Fred Thompson, who's not officially in yet.
posted by aaronetc at 9:45 PM on May 4, 2007


Mmmm....text stats....drool: I can have Brainz?
posted by taosbat at 10:39 PM on May 4, 2007


Interesting to me that Obama had "women" and "families" so prominently in his cloud.
posted by trii at 6:34 PM on May 5, 2007


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