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Obama phrase echos Shakespeare

UPI News Service, 02/14/2009 

Speechwriters say U.S. President Barack Obama's use of the phrase "This winter of our hardship" conveys a poetic sense of urgency without being gloomy.

"The reference to winter suggests that it will pass if we take the right steps -- winters end, winters don't last forever," said Jeff Shesol, a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton.

In an echo of William Shakespeare, Obama used the phrase in his inaugural address and again this week during a news conference to convey the severity of the economic downturn while offering the hope of a turnaround, Politico reported Saturday.

The phrase resonated with many, including writers at CBS who used it as the title for "60 Minutes" episode about an Ohio town battered by the economic storm.

William Shakespeare used the phrase "Winter of our discontent" in the play Richard III, and the phrase "This winter of our hardship" is Obama's derivation, Shesol said.

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Copyright 2009 by United Press International


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