Quote: “He’s done a pretty good job of playing my part on Law & Order.” Former prosecutor and New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, speaking of fellow presidential candidate Fred Thompson at the Republican debate in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Figure of Speech: adianoeta (ah-dee-ah-no-EE-ta), the figure of hidden meaning. From the Greek, meaning “unintelligible.”
Oh, snap! This is our favorite political adianoeta yet. A form of irony, the figure contains an obvious meaning and a hidden one beneath it.
Actually, we preferred Giuliani’s dig earlier in the debate, when he speculated on why Thompson, a notoriously laid-back Senator-turned-actor, had failed to show. “Maybe we’re up past his bedtime,” said Rudy. The ex-mayor is trying his darndest to look more statesmanlike than a flip-the-bird New Yorker; and he’s failing delightfully.
Snappy Answer: “So he’s just an actor. Like Ronald Reagan.”