People tend to talk about what’s important and interesting to them. They talk about the subjects they know. When they venture into areas they’re unsure of, they tend to get vague and repeat stock phrases. You see that kind of thing happen at a funeral of someone where they put the second-string minister on duty or he hasn’t prepared. I was recently at one of those.
I also happened to catch the Rose Garden address by President Bush today. In 1,182 words — including some opening and closing statements, boilerplate resolve verbiage, and pleas for the private sector to bail out the South, he spent over a third of it (409 words, highlighted in gray below) talking about oil and gasoline, more than he spent on discussing saving lives, providing shelter, and supplying food (265 words, in yellow) or maintaining order (77 words, in red).
And we thought the Iraqis were just kidding about the Oil Ministry.