Bush could punt. Obama can’t punt.

Eric001

Senior Member
Chinese-Beijing
Hello, everyone
I saw this sentence in today's NYtimes's headline. What is the meaning behind the words, punt and resonate? Thanks.

Bush could punt. Obama can’t punt,” he said. “This issue resonates with him.”

Here is the whole paragraph for reference. John Payton, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said that unlike white presidents who could dance around racial issues, Mr. Obama had to be direct. “That’s the whole difference. Bush could punt. Obama can’t punt,” he said. “This issue resonates with him.”
 
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  • ABBA Stanza

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Hi Eric,

    I'm not sure about the exact meaning of resonates here (I'll leave that to someone else :)), but "to punt" means "to be resourceful in maneuvering one's way out of a difficult situation".

    Cheers,
    Abba
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    It's an allude to American football. In football (as Americans call it), one punts the ball away to the other side when it is clear that they have very little chance of passing the line of scrimmage to gain a new set of downs. Therefore, the NY Times is saying that while Bush could afford to not offer direct opinions on racial issues (or punt the ball away), Obama cannot do likewise being that he is black and the issue is an important one for him, i.e. it resonates with him.
     
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