Political analysts also saw marked differences in the sets. “I think there are a couple of key distinctions that you can see, even when you look at brief three or four-word snippets,” says Dr. Stephen J. Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington. To his eye, Clinton’s most common phrases tended to be “more inclusive”—speaking about America as a whole, with “we”s more prominent than “I”s.
For Farnsworth, Trump’s most striking hallmarks were somewhat conflicting—his tendency to look backwards, with phrases like “in the history of” and “make America great again,” and then his many “going to”s, which suggest the opposite. Farnsworth sees this second trend as a function of Trump’s outsider status: “You have to talk about the future if you’re Donald Trump, because you can’t talk about your campaign as the continuation of what Republicans have said and done in the past,” he says.
“So Trump is a weird contradiction here,” says Farnsworth. “He encourages Americans to look to the past, but at the same time, he really wants to make a pretty clean break from Republican policies of the past.”