Snarky campaign slogan contest: we have a winner

Snarky Campagin Slogan contest: we have a winner.

There were a lot of great entries in my snarky campaign slogan contest. As sole judge, jury, executioner, Personal Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, my decisions are:

The following would have been worthy (though still short of winning) with minor editorial adjustments:

Mitt Romney: He knows what America is worth (Warren Terra, who had “Mitt Romney Knows the Value of America.”)

Romney: Because your beliefs are his beliefs. (Jeff Johnson, who had “Romney: Believe him when he says your beliefs are his beliefs.”).

Honorable mention:

Romney/Ryan. Because we deserve it (Joe)

Obama: an actual compassionate conservative (Katja)

[Romney/Ryan:] Mendacity in the defense of plutocracy is no vice (Clark)

[Mitt Romney:] He wants to be President in the worst way. And he will be (Bob Dole, quoted by Keith Humphreys).

Third Prize (tie):

Romney/Ryan: What Did Posterity Ever Do for You? (Mark)

[Romney:] In your heart, you know he’s white (calling all toasters)

It was very hard to deny the following slogan the top slot. But both because placing it first might seem like RBC self-dealing, and because it’s sublime if, but only if, one knows either the Damon Knight story or—more likely, at least in the U.S.—the Twilight Zone episode based on it, I have to give it

Second Prize:

[Romney/Ryan:] To Serve Man (James Wimberly)

And the First Prize goes to NickB’s contribution:

Vote Romney.
(That’s it. If you needed a reason, we’d have given it to you.)

I think that slogan captures, uncannily in a short space, a wide range of the Romney campaign’s insufferable qualities: its attempt to dodge policy substance, its contempt for ordinary voters, its barely-concealed determination to conceal its principal’s real motivations. (To be sure, calling all toasters came up with a similar slogan a couple of hours earlier: “Vote Romney. We’ll tell you why when you need to know.” But in addition to suspecting that NickB didn’t read all the previous comments before submitting—a shame, but not plagiarism—I judge NickB’s version to be substantially better. And calling all toasters has already been duly honored for another effort)

The now-famed NickB is the proud recipient of a gift certificate for a Heffalump, and of my sincere esteem. Well done. And thanks to all of you who made the choice difficult.

Author: Andrew Sabl

I'm a political theorist and Visiting Professor (through 2017) in the Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale. My interests include the history of political thought, toleration, democratic theory, political ethics, problems of coordination and convention, the realist movement in political theory, and the thought of David Hume. My first book, Ruling Passions: Political Offices and Democratic Ethics (Princeton, 2002) covered many of these topics, with a special focus on the varieties of democratic politics and the disparate qualities of mind and character appropriate to those who practice each of them. My second book Hume's Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England was published in 2012; I am currently finishing a book on toleration, with the working title The Virtues of Hypocrisy, under contract with Harvard University Press. A Los Angeles native, I got my B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. Before coming to Yale I taught at Vanderbilt and at UCLA, where I was an Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor; and held visiting positions at Williams, Harvard, and Princeton. I am married to Miriam Laugesen, who teaches health policy and the politics of health care at the Mailman School of public health at Columbia, and we have a twelve-year-old son.

14 thoughts on “Snarky campaign slogan contest: we have a winner”

  1. Regarding the honorable mention for “He wants to be President in the worst way. And he will be (Bob Dole, quoted by Keith Humphreys),” variations of this go back before Bob Dole. “Abraham [Lincoln] approached Mary, and told her that he wanted to dance with her in the ‘worst way.’ As she later related the story, she said he did just that.”

  2. This is a tremendous honor and I’d just like to take the opportunity to say: in your face, NickT!

    I’m a little embarrassed to find out that ‘calling all toasters’ had posted a very similar entry before me. I seem to have only read the second and third lines of that comment and so I will graciously share this victory by giving them the gift certificate.

    The esteem, on the other hand, I will keep.

  3. What, no mis-spelled silver medal? The competition has bought into the winner-take-all ethos of the adversary!
    Thanks anyway.

    1. I love that saying!! But I fear it will be just as true for Ryan as for Brazil (which I hear is booming). Ryan will probably survive this.

  4. Second afterthought. Romney’s slide in the polls is matched by similar falls in GOP prospects in the Senate and, now, in the House. The Democratic objective is shifting from merely defeating Romney, and preventing a reversal of Obama’s achievements by a hostile Congress, to electing a President and Congress that can work together to advance on new issues like climate change.
    So simply ridiculing Romney as a rich incompetent is not the way to go, unless it also damages GOP candidates for Congress. It was Romney himself that bound his candidacy to the Congressional GOP by making its intellectual leader Paul Ryan his running mate. The Republican insiders mustn’t be allowed to get away with simply throwing Romney under the bus. The message has to be that Mitt is a true representative of his party. Which he is.

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