Campaign Slogans

by TylerJ

This post is part of my continuing quasi-coverage of the 2012 presidential election. Also feel free to revisit my thoughts on Obama’s 2012 campaign kickoff and Santorum’s failed first attempt at a slogan.

Deciding on a campaign slogan is not exactly rocket science, but it’s not exactly easy either. Campaigns are just barely getting started and already Mitt Romney has introduced us to the nurdle and Rick Santorum has reminded us why we love Langston Hughes. Concise, memorable, witty: A good campaign slogan won’t get you elected, but a bad one will guarantee defeat.

So before we are bombarded with the slogans of the next class of presidential candidates, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at some of the best (and worst) campaign slogans from America’s past. 

The Oddly Sexual

  • “We Polked you in 1844, we shall Pierce you in 1852” –  1852 US presidential campaign slogan of Franklin Pierce. Ew.
  • “All the way with LBJ” – Boring. But no one was going to beat LBJ in 1964 anyway.
  •  “Don’t change dicks in the middle of a screw! Vote for Nixon in ’72”

The Narcissists

  • “Give ‘em Hell, Harry!” and “I’m just wild about Harry” – Truman used both of these in 1948.
  • “Let’s make it a Landon-Slide” and “Life, Liberty and Landon” – Alf Landon ran against FDR in 1936. Who is Alf Landon?
  • “Hoo but Hoover?” – Hoover’s 1928 campaign slogan, who is apparently an owl.

The Racists

  •  “In your heart, you know he’s right” – Subtlety from Barry Goldwater in 1964.
  • “This is a white man’s government!” – Bluntness from Horatio Seymour in 1868.

City on a Hill

  • “A chicken in every pot.  A car in every garage” – Hoover in 1928.
  • “A full dinner pail” – McKinley in 1900.
  • “Cox and cocktails” – Warren G. Harding’s 1920 slogan wins.