President Obama almost seems like he enjoys his newfound snarky side. He pulled off a neatly executed hyperbole in his latest speech, and as a bonus, solicited a rhetorical gasp from Rick Perry’s mouthpiece. The fun has just begun! Here’s the Obama quote.
You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change.
hyperbole (hie-PER-bo-lee), the exaggerator. From the Greek, meaning “throw beyond.”
The hyperbole is the super-tool of exaggeration. Because it twists reality without lying, the tool qualifies as a trope. The entire state of Texas isn’t literally on fire. Just huge black chunks of it.
At the same time, Obama is using a figure of thought that combines contrasts to make a point.
antitheton (an-TITH-a-ton), the proof consisting of opposites. From the Greek, meaning “opposite points.”
The antitheton is a great way to claim that someone is a hypocrite or, even better, crazy. Obama makes Perry sound like an environmental Nero. The figure seems to have hit home. “It’s outrageous President Obama would use the burning of 1,500 homes, the worst fires in state history, as a political attack,” Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan emailedPolitico.
Yes, the spokesman for the man who called the chairman of the Fed a traitor is accusing the president of being…insensitive. Figaro is loving this election already.