Quote: “I see your point, Jim.” White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino.
Figure of Speech: concessio (con-CESS-io), the figure of agreeability.
We’re seeing a bold new strategy in the White House press room: being agreeable. The No. 2 White House flack was caught defending contradictory statements made by Attorney General Alberto “Chainsaw” Gonzales. In the usual modus operandi, she should berate the questioner or repeat the same stupid point ad nauseum. Instead, Perino laughed and admitted the error — sort of.
Welcome to the art of concession, a figure of thought that’s the rhetorical equivalent of sacrificing a pawn. The contradiction Perino conceded was so technical that none of the major media picked it up. Instead, the Washington Post reported how nice Dana Perino is. (Being almost as cute as her boss doesn’t hurt.) Her concession made her seem more likeable and trustworthy, and we’re a bit more likely to accept her spin in the future.
Agreeability. It’s the anti-testosterone.
Snappy Answer: “Good thing. It’s staring you in the face.”
For more about concession, turn to page 42 of Figaro’s book.