Among flacks and politicians, there is a fondness for a metaphor that journalists shouldn’t reflexively adopt: that of a CEO or a corporation or an elected official or even a whole nation hitting reset, or the reset button.
The terms are invoked especially often around State of the Union speeches.
And if reporters thought President Trump was poised to tell Congress that he is changing his party affiliation, or asking all cabinet members to resign so he can start anew, or abjectly apologizing to the American people for his tenure to date, or pursuing another tax bill with different provisions than the one that he recently signed into law, I’d hold my tongue grudgingly as they recycled the reset language.
But why use reset while actually conveying that what’s been happening up until now is going to keep happening going forward, as the Associated Press just did?
“Beset by poor poll numbers and the grind of the Russia investigation,” the news organization writes, “President Donald Trump will look to reset his term with his first State of the Union address, arguing that his tax cut and economic policies will benefit all Americans.” No! He obviously cannot simply start his term over again, and he has been arguing that his tax cut and economic policies will benefit all Americans at every point in his campaign and first year in office.