It’s hard to beat veteran political speechwriter and commentator Peggy Noonan for the right turn of phrase at the right time.
Which is why she delivered what might be the best metaphor of this election cycle, in the Wall St. Journal:
“You know what Romney sounded like? Like a kid new to politics who thinks he got the inside lowdown on how it works from some operative. But those old operatives, they never know how it works. They knew how it worked for one cycle back in the day.
They’re jockeys who rode Seabiscuit and thought they won a race.”
Here’s why it works: the jockey is in on the victory. But everyone celebrates the horse. Think for a moment: what IS the name of the jockey who rode Seabiscuit?
I don’t know either.
And that’s how Noonan makes the point that Romney and his cohorts think that their success is 100% due to themselves, when they enjoyed a rising economic tide plus many priveleges. Any of many jockeys could have ridden Seabiscuit and won. And many equally talented managers could have delivered Romneyesque success, given the same circumstances.
That’s the power of the metaphor: a concise message wrapped in an unforgettable package.