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    Anecdotal Observations On History & Politics

    Entries in Warren Harding (2)


    Campaign Slogans: To Recycle Or Not To Recycle?

    Ben Smith reported last night that Mitt Romney's new slogan, "Believe in America," was previously used by John Kerry for a cross-country bus tour. However, many presidential campaign slogans have been strikingly similar, albeit not exactly the same, as previous campaigns:

    • George W. Bush's 2004 campaign message, as introduced at his RNC Nomination speech was "TURN THE CORNER," which was near identical to FDR's 1932 slogan, "WE ARE TURNING THE CORNER"
    • Both Nixon and Reagan stressed the urgency of their message, Nixon with "NIXON NOW" and Reagan with "THE TIME IS NOW"
    • John McCain's 2008 slogan "COUNTRY FIRST," was almost the same as Warren Harding's "AMERICA FIRST" in 1920.
    • Eisenhower's "WE LIKE IKE" sounded like a rip-off of Wendell Willkie's 1940 message "WE WANT WILKIE," except one was a rhyme and the other used alliteration.

    Move Over Palin, Warren Harding Invented a Word Too

    Earlier in the week Sarah Palin earned special recognition from the New Oxford American Dictionary for coming up with the word of the year. "Refudiate," a word she coined over the summer, is a combination of "refute" and "repudiate". However, Palin is not the first aspiring President to have invented a word that actually entered the our lexicon.

    "Normalcy" was used interchangeably for the correct word "normality" back during the 1920 presidential election, and it was the brainchild of then Senator Warren G. Harding. Running on the theme, "a return to normalcy" after the end of WWI, his use of the word can be heard below at 1:09:

    As you can tell, his rambling speech is replete with adjectives and vague thematic references. This style of stumping became known as "bloviating," which is defined as such: "to talk aimlessly and boastingly". Harding may have been bloviator in chief, but he did become president, so perhaps this foreshadows Sarah Palin's own political future...