Franco Frattini: “It’s the economy, stupid”
Cuts in defence budgets are an economic reality. But, says Franco Frattini, they are also an opportunity to finally start coordinating defence spending between nations who are now forced into prioritising. And NATO could benefit.
This video is part of the “Security Snapshots” edition of NATO Review.
“It’s the economy, stupid” is a slight variation of the phrase “The economy, stupid” which James Carville had coined as a campaign strategist of Bill Clinton‘s successful 1992 presidential campaign against sitting president George H. W. Bush.
Carville’s original phrase was meant for the internal audience of Clinton’s campaign workers as one of the three messages to focus on, the other two messages being “Change vs. more of the same” and “Don’t forget health care.”
The phrase has become a snowclone repeated often in American political culture, usually starting with the word “it’s” and with commentators sometimes using a different word in place of “economy.” Examples include “It’s the deficit, stupid!” “It’s the corporation, stupid!” “It’s the math, stupid!” and “It’s the voters, stupid!”. In British political satire The Thick of It, It’s the Everything, Stupid was the name of a book written by one of the characters. In an episode of the TV series The West Wing, “the economy stupid” can be seen written on a whiteboard in Bartlet’s campaign headquarters. In an episode of Weeds, “it’s the economy, stupid” is a line said by a crazy man rambling about his free goat.
Another variant of the phrase, “It’s the constitution, stupid” or “It’s about the constitution, stupid”, has been used by several parties in various election campaigns. It has appeared on bumper stickers against the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2004, for the Ron Paul ticket in 2008, and has appeared in video ads for the Gary Johnson ticket in 2012.[9
see references in en.wikipedia.org