"too presidential, too scripted."

youngminds

New Member
Chinese Mandarin
Hello everyone, as I'm practicing my listening skill, I found this source from the speech given by the U.K prime minister Theresa May earlier this year.
In the opening paragraph, I found something that is confusing. let me quote "But we did not get the victory we wanted because our national campaign fell short. It was too scripted. Too presidential. And it allowed the Labour Party to paint us as the voice of continuity, when the public wanted to hear a message of change. I hold my hands up for that. I take responsibility. I led the campaign. And I am sorry."

My first question is "scripted and presidential", I have no problem with the word itself, but the context where they were put just doesn't make any sense to me. And there is this "paint us" I can't find any reference to it. thank you!
 
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  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    This woman was in a very difficult position and she was taking some reponsibiltiy for a disastarous election result. It's actually not possible for a whole election campaign so sound "too scripted. Too presidential" She means that bits of the campaign seemed like that to the electorate. Too scipted probably refers to the mechanical way she and her party repeated set-phrases throught out the campaign.

    I am not sure what she means by too Presidential. Perhaps as though only the main head of state was important? In this country we are only indirectly voting for a head of state when we have a General Election. Unlike the USA system. I don't really know for sure what she means there.

    To paint (us) = to depict or describe (us). That's one of the standard definitions of the verb.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's a bit of a mystery to me. Perhaps "too presidential" is code for "cold, remote, detached". It sounds a lot more positive and responsible than "frigid" would.

    She may be contrasting her own campaign, where she was criticised for promising that more elderly people would have to pay for their own social care, to Corbin's more populist vote-catching line of scrapping university fees. His campaign made him seem more human and "in touch" with ordinary people's concerns.
     

    youngminds

    New Member
    Chinese Mandarin
    To paint (us) = to depict or describe (us). That's one of the standard definitions of the verb.
    Thank you for the explanation! may I have a further question?
    "And it allowed the Labour Party to paint us as the voice of continuity, when the public wanted to hear a message of change."
    In this clause, does it means that the mistake makes them become less dominant to their opponent? for example; the Labour Party might have more chances to question their party?
     
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