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dog-and-pony show

An elaborate presentation to gain approval for a product or policy. For example, The administration loved putting on a dog-and-pony show for every minor change of policy. This term alludes to a traveling variety show. [ 1950s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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