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The Pulse: In New Year, let’s put aside clichés

A researcher in Scranton says about half of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions keep them. Well, at least that’s better than the percentage of politicians who keep their campaign promises.

One recent poll found that only 4 percent of voters believe most politicians do what they promise once they’re in office.

So, how about resolutions for those putting their names on the ballot in 2010? Here are some political clichés that really need to be banned in the New Year:

“Special interests.” Politicians are so interested in throwing around this phrase that it’s now about as special as those overly-promoted “very special” episodes of “Blossom” from back in the ‘90s.

Can we nix the canned quote: “The only poll that counts is the one on Election Day?” Fact is, a poll matters a lot to anyone who would ever utter this line.

“My opponent…” You know, even Dr. Claw called Inspector Gadget by his first name from time to time.

Candidates who claim they aren’t ambitious and are running for completely altruistic reasons. Let’s just admit that anyone who would ever go through the effort to build support, collect signatures, raise money and throw themselves into the fray is indeed ambitious. The revelation would run up on the shock-o-meter right next to David Letterman’s admission that cheated on his wife.

Claims of bipartisanship. A cross between a donkey and an elephant is about as common in these here parts as a centaur.

Any sentence that contains “Main Street,” “Wall Street,” “kitchen table,” “real Americans” or “change.” ‘Nough said.

The carefully crafted and scripted “debates” that take place before Election Day. If these sterile events are actually debates, then what does that make the British Parliament? The political equivalent of MTV’s “Jersey Shore?”

“I’m running a positive campaign focused on the issues.” Right. As long as you’re not losing. Short of King Friday’s re-election bid in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, let’s just admit that politics is messy.

“It’s the media’s fault!” It probably is, but have you seen the latest newspaper circulation numbers?

- Daniel Scarpinato is editor of the “Yellow Sheet Report,” a subscription-based daily tip-sheet covering Arizona politics and the Legislature. Contact him at 602-889-7126 or daniel.scarpinato@azcapitoltimes.com. Follow him on Twitter: Scarpinato.

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