The 2,988 Words That Changed a Presidency: An Etymology
They knew little for certain, and knowing little increased their natural tendency to sound like Churchill, whose writing they all liked. Gerson tried out: ''In the long term, terrorism is not answered by higher walls and deeper bunkers.'' The team kept going: ''Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.'' The computer screen filled with rolling triads. ''This is the world's fight; this is civilization's fight; this is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.'' Words tumbled out.
''They were just sitting there, jamming,'' said Juleanna Glover Weiss, the vice president's press secretary, whose office is next door. ''There was a sort of one-upsmanship to it.'' Gerson wrote, ''Freedom is at war with fear.'' Together, they tweaked it: ''Freedom and fear are at war.'' They worked steadily, getting meals from the White House mess to keep them going.