Since Super Tuesday, the campaigns have really started to settle into a consistent language that is interesting to parse. On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain, as the presumptive nominee, has stopped talking about his Republican competitors. The media is not quite ready to take up this language because they need stuff to report. More recently, with Sen. Barack Obama's victories in the past week, Sen. McCain has begun to focus his attention on the Senator from Illinois. Supposedly, the Republicans would prefer to run against Sen. Hillary Clinton. Interesting. Both Sen. McCain and Sen. Clinton seem to be attacking Sen. Obama by saying that he is all promise and no detail. Just a bunch of hope (some pundits have noted that it might not be wise to campaign against hope). Others seem to be noticing that Sen. Obama does have some concrete policies and is talking about them. In an interesting twist, now both Sens. McCain and Clinton's camps are saying that his policy is very similar to Sen. Clinton's. So which is it? Is he all hope or not? Does he have policies or not? If he doesn't have policies and they are just like Sen. Clinton's, what does that say about Sen. Clinton's policies?
Another interesting use of language on the Democratic side is the casting of the recent results (eight sizable wins for Obama in a row) and the future contests. The Obama camp talks about momentum. The Clinton camp does not talk about the recent results. The Obama camp talks about Wisconsin and Hawaii. The Clinton camp says that Texas and Ohio are the only contests that matter; they being the upcoming contests where she is leading in the polls. The press seems equally taken with both approaches yet not really appreciating either; synthesizing the messages into something like "Texas and Ohio are do or die for Sen. Clinton".
One final example of language is the labels that the candidates and their campaigns try to put on themselves. Sen. Clinton started as inevitable. Sen. Obama started as change. After Iowa, everybody was change. Since then, Sen. Clinton has moved to experience and now to practical problem solver. Sen. Obama has stuck with change. Each of these messages seem to work with different slices of the electorate. It will be interesting to see how the pie gets sliced up in the contests to come.