Thingish Things

Obama’s Got Ungatz

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jul• 13•12

There’s a great New York Italian expression called “ungatz.” If you’ve got ungatz, you’ve got nothing — you’re whistling Dixie. Jewish New York will know this as “bupkis.”

Ungatz is the perfect word to use in a poker game when staring down another player. “This guy’s betting like he’s Johnny Chan,” you might say, “but I’m telling you, he’s got ungatz.” (don’t try this line if you’re Irish American like me.)

The Obama campaign has ungatz right now. You can tell because it keeps hammering away at Bain Capital — which has been hammered to death — and at Mitt Romney‘s tax returns. In political campaigns, when the cupboard of tricks runs barren — when you’ve got ungatz — there are two reliable jabs to throw. If you’re behind, you challenge your opponent to debates and hope he refuses; if you’re on a fishing expedition and your opponent is wealthy, you demand his tax returns, hope he says “no,” or that he complies and something with legs pops up.

It’s a way to get the attention off you and onto the other guy, if only to give you the breathing room to think of something else to do.

The rest of this column is available at Newsday Westchester.  Thanks for reading!

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