Credenzas and Credibility

The Wandering Eye has been trying to deconstruct Gordon Smith's second "furniture" ad - in particular, the profound politico/socio/economic significance of the word "credenza."

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The Wandering Eye has been trying to deconstruct Gordon Smith's second "furniture" ad - in particular, the profound politico/socio/economic significance of the word "credenza."


"Jeff Merkley attacked the former House speaker [Republican Karen Minnis] for spending thousands redecorating," the ad begins. "Merkley said it wasted our tax dollars. But when Merkley became speaker - you guessed it, he spent millions.

"Flat-screen TVs. $4,000 desks. $6,700 for matching hutch, credenza and wardrobe.

"Credenza? Wardrobe?"

"WTF is a credenza anyway?" you may be wondering. The Eye's dictionary defines it as "a sideboard, buffet, or bookcase patterned after a Renaissance credence, especially one without legs."

In other words, it's a low cabinet. Something you can put stuff in.

But why does the Smith ad lay such heavy, scornful emphasis on the word "credenza"? The Eye suspects it's part of the old Republican strategy of trying to paint your opponents as "elitists." (Like calling Barack Obama's house a "mansion" and criticizing him for taking a vacation in "exotic" Hawaii.)

"Credenza" is sort of a fancy-pants word. Sounds kinda furrin'. French. (Okay, it's really Italian, but same difference.)

A "credenza" sounds like something you might keep wine in. Maybe even arugula. No real, red-blooded, NASCAR-watchin', Coors-drinkin' Amurrican would own a frickin' credenza.

We bet Jeff Merkley is wishing he had called the damn thing a "gun case."

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