Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Personal Reasons" Defined

From the Slang Guide to Political Meanings:
Personal reasons -- a phrase often used to explain the withdrawal from consideration for appointment or as a candidate in a campaign. Typically means "stuff I hadn't thought was going to come out". (That is, for those possessing a modicum of shame, unlike Timothy Geither.)

Usage: "I am withdrawing for personal reasons."
Meaning: "I am withdrawing because I embezzled funds, worked briefly as a Nigerian scammer, cheated on my taxes despite supporting tax hikes, and frequented prostitutes."
In the latest demonstration of the use of the phrase personal reasons, the NY Times seems to have failed to recognize the all-encompassing nature of the personal:
"Problems involving taxes and a household employee surfaced during the vetting of Caroline Kennedy and derailed her candidacy for the Senate, a person close to Gov. David A. Paterson said on Thursday, in an account at odds with Ms. Kennedy’s own description of her reasons for withdrawing."
We here at the Slang Guide are confused. How could the explanation of the person close to Gov. Paterson be considered "at odds" with Caroline Kennedy's? We hope the NY Times will understand the extremely personal nature of having tax and household employee problems.

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