A commenter writes:
It's much easier for a dumb politician to blunder a new word into the vocabulary (strategery, normalcy), than it is for any author to come up with one by fiat.
Let's give credit where credit is due: "Strategery" was coined by Saturday Night Live writer James Downey -- a New York Times Nov. 4, 2000 article describes the skit:
Darrell Hammond plays Mr. Gore as heavy-sighing, pedantic, wedded to the concept and the word "lockbox." Mr. Hammond, who has mastered a Bill Clinton impersonation that presents him as a gleeful womanizer, has the drawling Gore intonation down but hasn't yet found the single personality trait that makes for a brilliant satiric portrait.
Will Ferrell, as Mr. Bush, has. In the debate sketch he displays an entire range of baffled looks in response to a single question, as his eyes squint and you can see the wheels churning in his head. Asked for a single word that sums up his candidacy he says, "Strategery," then gives a smug smile. (The Gore response: "Lockbox.") The sketch, written by James Downey, seems wittier with each viewing. The humor also depends on Chris Parnell's performance as the debate moderator, Jim Lehrer, with his wide-eyed look and uninflected tone.
A further Nexis search reveals no references to "strategery" from before then that suggest Ferrell was indeed borrowing the term from then-candidate Bush.
UPDATE: Double d'oh! After much blunderosity on my part, the author is now correctly identified -- James Downey, just as the quote says he is. I don't know what I must have been drinking this afternoon to screw that up; thanks to the commenters for correcting me.
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