Political campaign slogans are a funny thing. Maybe we’re in a golden era of slogans, because I think of the pithy sayings as an essential, memorable part of any presidential campaign. “Yes We Can” and “I’m With Her” are instantly recognizable. (So is “Make America Great Again,” but that sends a chill down my spine, which probably isn’t the effect Trump’s going for. No, scratch that. Of course it is.)
I don’t know if it’s the rise of social media that brings attention to, or maybe requires, a great slogan, or if it’s just a turn of the times. Because a Wikipedia rabbit hole tells me that this was NOT always the case. Did you know that Nixon’s slogan was the demanding caveman “Nixon Now,” or that Johnson went with the flirtatious “All the way with LBJ”? Okay, maybe you did know those, but how about Wendell Willkie’s 1940 sick burn, “Roosevelt for Ex-President” or Woodrow Wilson’s “He has kept us out of war.” What I’m saying is, they’re not all winners.
And that’s what I learned from this leaked Clinton campaign email that included a list of 85 potential campaign slogans to discuss in an upcoming meeting. (Click the pictures to make bigger.)
Oh wow. Wow, are those bad. I think the obvious worst option is “No Quit,” but there are some close contenders. For instance:
—Renewing our basic bargain. There were a lot of “bargains” in here. In an era when “lesser of two evils” is a common saying and lot of people are convinced that they’re “settling” for Hillary, reminding them that she can be haggled over isn’t the best move.
—Stronger at home. As in, she’s strong in politics, but stronger at home? Fuck you.
— Progress for the rest of us.
—Rise up. The rallying cry of every revolution ever? I don’t know if she’s really ready for that.
—It’s your turn.
—It’s your time.
—It’s your time. They liked that one enough to list it twice. And while it’s fine, you can’t unhear the last three or even four read together, as you revolution pop anthem.