Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day: Campaign Slogans

As Americans go to the polls (excluding the goody-two-shoes that voted early) how have things unfolded so far? How much has language been involved up to this point?

Would Obama have been president if he wasn't such a great public speaker? We think not. Would Mitt Romney have been Republican head honcho if he couldn't string a sentence together? Never! Republicans know better, now...

This probably wouldn't have got him his second term.
At least not without Florida.

The debates had people wondering who would be the next president of the United States. They were important, sure, but whilst all that was going on the campaigns were running ad after ad after ad after ad. What were they saying, what was their message and how important is that message?

For all the waffle going on in the adverts, "Candidate A does this but Candidate B does this, vote Candidate A", the thing that ties them all together is the campaign slogan. Today, we're taking a look at some of the better slogans throughout the years. And we mean years!

"We Polked you in '44, We shall Pierce you in '52"

The campaign slogan for Franklin Pierce all the way back in 1852 features a fantastic pun, and going from "polk" to "pierce" is pretty delicious.

"Who but Hoover?"

Herbert Hoover's 1928 campaign has a lovely bit of alliteration and is pretty catchy.

"I like Ike"

It may sound like a child forming an opinion, but Eisenhower's 1952 campaign was catchy, it rhymed and it got him into office. He didn't even need a marketing team to come up with it... the American people popularized it themselves!

"It's the economy, stupid!"

Ah, Clinton. Could you be any more '90s in your slogan? Not! Derisive slogans had always been commonplace and this was no exception. Bill Clinton's '92 slogan was aimed at George Bush's unkept "no new taxes" promise.

"A Safer World and a More Hopeful America"

3 years after 9/11 the people didn't need rhyme schemes or alliteration. They needed words that would pull on their heartstrings, that were relevant to them and that echoed the feelings of the people. This poignant sentiment got Dubya his second term and convinced people to look past the unnecessary wars he'd started throughout his first term.

"Change We Can Believe In"

America's first black president made some big promises and delivered a campaign slogan to go with it. Nothing more than 5 affirmative words. Do Americans still believe it? We'll find out later today, hopefully!

Was it change? Or just the same old politics?