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Hello everyone,

I've got 2 questions referring to the text by Joe Klein about Sarah Palin's speech at Tea Party Convent:

1) what does 'focus group' mean in the sentence: "
she does folksy far better than George W. Bush or any of the other Republican focus-group populists ever did."?

2) what does it mean "to rock the joint"?

Here is the whole paragraph to give you the context:


"How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?" Sarah Palin asked the anti-élitist Tea Party élites — those who could pay $549 for a ticket — gathered in suffocating self-righteousness at the Opryland Hotel on the first weekend of February. It was classic Palin, a brilliant line, brilliantly delivered: she does folksy far better than George W. Bush or any of the other Republican focus-group populists ever did. It was the signature line of her speech, which rocked the joint — and then, slowly, began to rock the national political community. The speech was inspired drivel, a series of distortions and oversimplifications, totally bereft of nourishing policy proposals — the sort of thing calculated, carefully calculated, to drive lamestream media types like me frothing to their keyboards. Palin is a big fat target, eminently available for derision. But I will not deride. Because brilliance must be respected, especially when it involves marketing in an era when image almost always passes for substance."
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Hi,

I've got 2 questions referring to the text by Joe Klein about Sarah Palin's speech at Tea Party Convent:

1) what does 'focus group' mean in the sentence: "she does folksy far better than George W. Bush or any of the other Republican focus-group populists ever did."?

A business gets a small group of the public together to tell them how they like the business's product. The business then changes their product tio make people like it. This group of people is caled a 'focus group'.

The suggestion in your sentence is that Republican populists have no principles, but simply advocate those policies that they think the public will like. ie They'll do anything to get votes.

2) what does it mean "to rock the joint"?

Here is the whole paragraph to give you the context:

"How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?" Sarah Palin asked the anti-élitist Tea Party élites — those who could pay $549 for a ticket — gathered in suffocating self-righteousness at the Opryland Hotel on the first weekend of February. It was classic Palin, a brilliant line, brilliantly delivered: she does folksy far better than George W. Bush or any of the other Republican focus-group populists ever did. It was the signature line of her speech, which rocked the joint filled the room withgreat energy and excitement — and then, slowly, began to rock the national political community. The speech was inspired drivel, a series of distortions and oversimplifications, totally bereft of nourishing policy proposals — the sort of thing calculated, carefully calculated, to drive lamestream media types like me frothing to their keyboards. Palin is a big fat target, eminently available for derision. But I will not deride. Because brilliance must be respected, especially when it involves marketing in an era when image almost always passes for substance."

Clive
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Thank you.

This lead me to another question: what does "to rock the national political community" mean in this context? I thought it was about shocking them. But maybe it also refers to the excitement?
Hi,

This lead me to another question: what does "to rock the national political community" mean in this context? I thought it was about shocking them. Yes, but also 'cause them to re-evaluate their basic ideas'.

But maybe it also refers to the excitement? A bit, not so much.

Clive
Thank you once again.
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