Political reporting and commentary brings out a classic journalese term: war chest, for funds stashed away to finance a politician’s next election campaign. An appropriate usage was in a Boston Sunday Globe opinion piece, Dec. 10, 2017, by Renée Graham. Headlined, “Shooting our way out of a gun epidemic,” she writes about “the GOP’s addiction to the millions it receives from the NRA every year.” And she goes on: “Republican legislators care more about filling their campaign war chests, than carrying out the will of their constituents.”
Using a war chest filled by the NRA sounds accurate to me. After all, a pacifist candidate backing strong gun controls wouldn’t store his or her bankroll in a war chest, but in what is usually called, in journalese, “campaign coffers.” Most exceptional in this field was Massachusetts Republican Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers who served 1925 to 1960 and didn’t spend a nickel campaigning. “My constituents know me,” she explained. Her old district seat, now held by retiring Nicki Tsongas, a Democrat, is now “up for grabs,” with dozens of pols and hacks in the running. They include the founder of Sal’s Pizza, who could store his campaign dough overnight in the fridge, hoping it rises.
File under: Politicians’ play dough.
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