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Stay the course

Posted by ESC on April 14, 2004

Someone commented that the phrase used by President Bush last night ((April 13, 2004) -- stay the course -- had a familiar ring to it. It should:

STAY THE COURSE - "Persist in an action or policy; remain with a plan despite criticism or setbacks. This phrase, perhaps based on a sailing metaphor of keeping an unchanged course in navigation, was popularized during the 1980 Presidential campaign.Republicans have helped to popularize the expression. During 1982, according to the Washington Post, Ronald Reagan 'visited 14 states in 10 days of campaigning since Labor Day, carrying his 'stay the course' message." From Safire's New Political Dictionary by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993).

And it was a favorite phrase of the elder Bush.

SHOW: Today (7:00 AM ET) - NBC. March 31, 2004, Wednesday. Al Franken interview with Katie Couric. She shows a Saturday Night Live clip that was written by Franken:

(Beginning of clip from "Saturday Night Live")

Unidentified Woman: You still have 50 seconds left, Mr. Vice President.
Mr. DANA CARVEY: Well, let me just sum up. On track, stay the course, a thousand points of light. Stay the course.
Woman: Governor Dukakis, rebuttal?
Mr. JON LOVITZ: I can't believe I'm losing to this guy.

(End of clip from "Saturday Night Live")