Nugget of Knowledge: Political term ‘firewall’


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

We’re hearing a certain expression this presidential political season…firewall.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has called the South Carolina primary at the end of this month his firewall….in other words, the losses stop there…no more bad showings such as Iowa or New Hampshire.
The word firewall meant originally that: a wall of fire…check the Hebrew Bible….not a wall to keep fire out.
The idea of building a wall to protect against fire came after the great London fire of 1666.
In the early 1970’s, we started to talk about firewalls around our computers to block someone trying to tap into them.
The term finally jumped to politics in the 1984 Democrat presidential primaries.
Walter Mondale was beating Ohio senator John Glenn so Glenn talked of setting up a firewall around six states in the deep south.
Glenn’s firewall failed: he won none of those primaries and he dropped out of the race.
George H.W. Bush built his firewall in the south as well and it held off senator Bob Dole in the Republican primaries in 1988.
But John Edwards’ firewall in 2004 failed to stop fellow democrat John Kerry and Rudi Giuliani’s burned through in 2008; John McCain did the burning.
Sometimes firewalls are brick….sometimes straw.

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