Menu Close

Software determines that Obama spins the most1 min read

Listen to this article

David Skillicorn, a computing science professor at Queen’s University,
has devised a program that analyzes the candidates’ speeches to see who
is putting the most political spin
on their message.

John McCain shoots the straightest, Barack Obama spins the most and Hillary Clinton falls somewhere in the middle.

Mr. Skillicorn created the software to look at the candidates’ speeches between January and mid-February this year.

examining how frequently various qualifiers, negative words, the
singular "I" versus "we," action words and "but" and "or" are used, the
software calculates the "spin" — defined as the way politicians
slightly alter what they say to appeal to the widest audience while
ensuring they aren’t crossing the line into fiction.