Google gets political with quotation tool

A Google Labs project called "In Quotes" lets you take quotations from the party leaders and election candidates of four different countries and see what they have to say about a given search term.

Just in time for the home stretch of the U.S. presidential showdown, some crafty engineers at Google have created a tool to compare quotations from candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. Called "In Quotes," the Google Labs project lets you search for a given term (say, "economy") and Google will bring up a quotation from each presidential candidate that mentions the term.

Hit the "spin" button to display different quotations, all of which have been pulled from recent Google News stories.

You can also compare quotations from U.K. prime minster Gordon Brown and rival David Cameron, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and rival Stéphane Dion, and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and opposition leader Lal Krishna Advani.

It's a cute pre-election tool, but it's certainly not perfect. A search for what the Canadian candidates said about "Bush" revealed a quotation from Dion about hunting that happened to contain the word "bush." And what's worse, I couldn't find anything from either Barack Obama or John McCain about "Batman." Their position on Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker is crucial to me as a voter. You're failing me, Google.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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