The Quick 10: 10 Campaign Slogans of the Past

At this point, we're all pretty overloaded on "Yes We Can," "Change You Can Believe In," "Straight Talk," and "Country First." But do you remember Herbert Hoover's slogan? How about FDR? Let's take a break from Straight Talk and Change and revisit some slogans that helped the candidate move into the White House.

1. "A Chicken in Every Pot and a Car in Every Garage." That was Herbert Hoover's promise, which he obviously wasn't able to deliver. There was also the lesser known, "Hoover and Happiness or Smith and Soup Houses."

2. "A Return to Normalcy" maybe doesn't sound like the most thrilling campaign slogan, but when you consider that it was Warren G. Harding's commitment to people just coming out of WWI, it probably sounded pretty good. Harding was also the first candidate to rely on the power of Hollywood - his backers included Al Jolson, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. For those not into the old Hollywood scene, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks would be the equivalent of having Brad and Angelina back your campaign today.

3. "Are You Better Off Today Than You Were Four Years Ago?" A compelling question by Ronald Reagan. Jimmy Carter's approval ratings were terrible, so this question really hit where it hurt.

eleanor4. "Better a Third-Termer Than a Third-Rater." This, of course, belonged to FDR. As did this one: "Two good terms deserve another." FDR'S 1940 campaign against Willkie was pretty heated, actually, and the two of them were trotting out humorous barbs on a nearly weekly basis.

5. "Tippecanoe and Tyler too." I remember the slogan (although it was a song first), but I can never remember who actually used it. If you're like me, here you go: It was William Henry Harrison's. When he led an army of more than 1,000 men into battle against the Shawnee and came out the victor, he soon became known as "Old Tip," because the battle had taken place next to the Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers. Reminding voters of his supposed war prowess must have worked, because Harrison was elected in 1840.

sunflower6. "Sunflowers Die in November." It doesn't have much to do with issues, but it's clever: FDR used this slogan in '36 against his opponent, Kansas governor Alf Landon. The Kansas state flower? The sunflower, of course.

7. "It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river." Heard that one before? Like, about four years ago? Well, it was "borrowed" from one of the best - Abraham Lincoln. He used it while campaigning for his second term in 1864.

8. "Vote as You Shot!" Ulysses S. Grant supporters made no bones about it - if you were on the Union side in the war, you'd better be voting for him.

9. "Grandfather's Hat Fits Ben." Who else could this be but Benjamin Harrison, the grandson of Old Tip himself? And maybe the hat did fit, but only for four years - after one term, Ben was voted out of office in favor of the man who had also preceded him - Grover Cleveland.

10. "Would You Buy a Used Car From This Man?" Ha. It may not have been JFK's main slogan (he also used "A Time for Greatness" and "We Can Do Better"), but it's definitely the funniest. His camp used a picture of Nixon glowering and looking particularly smarmy along with that slogan. Brilliant.

Quick True/False: World Capitals
Bain News Service - Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
10 Pats Born on St. Patrick's Day
A photo from the 1919 wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught to the Hon. Alexander Ramsay.
A photo from the 1919 wedding of Princess Patricia of Connaught to the Hon. Alexander Ramsay.
Bain News Service - Library of Congress, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Need some St. Patrick's Day conversation fodder that doesn't involve leprechauns or four-leaf clovers? Ask your friends to name a "Pat" born on St. Patrick's Day. If they can't, they owe you a drink—then you can wow them with this list of 10.


Princess Patricia was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who gave up all of her royal titles when she married a commoner. She was born at Buckingham Palace on March 17, 1886.


The Dallas star was born on March 17, 1949. And here's a totally random fact about Duffy: His nephew is Barry Zito, former MLB pitcher for the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants.


Pattie Boyd
Larry Ellis, Express/Getty Images

Pattie Boyd is well-known to lovers of classic rock: She has been married three times, including once to George Harrison and once to Eric Clapton, who both wrote a couple of the most romantic songs in rock history in her honor (including The Beatles's "Something" and Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight"). Boyd was a model when she met Harrison on the set of A Hard Day's Night in 1964; the pair were married two years later. They divorced in 1977 and she married Clapton, Harrison's close friend, in 1979. She also had an affair with Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones toward the end of her marriage to The Quiet Beatle.


Belfast-born Pat Rice is a former footballer and coach who spent the bulk of his career with Arsenal F.C. (that's "football club," a.k.a. soccer to us Americans). He joined the Gunners in 1964 as a mere apprentice, turning pro a couple of years later. He became captain in 1977 and left the club for a few years in the early 1980s to go to Watford, but returned after he retired from playing in 1984. In 2012, after nearly 30 years with the organization, he announced his retirement.


Patty Maloney is an actress with dwarfism who stands just three feet, 11 inches tall. She has appeared in many movies and T.V. shows over the years, including operating the Crypt Keeper puppet in Tales from the Crypt. She also played Chewbacca's son Lumpy in The Star Wars Holiday Special.


Michael C. Hall and Mathew St. Patrick in 'Six Feet Under'

Ok, so Mathew St. Patrick is the stage name of the actor, but he was born Patrick Matthews in Philadelphia on March 17, 1968. You probably know him best as David's boyfriend Keith on Six Feet Under.


He may not be a household name, but the recording artists Patrick Adams writes for and helps produce certainly are. Adams has been involved in the careers of Salt-N-Pepa, Sister Sledge, Gladys Knight, Rick James, and Coolio, among others.


It's possible you look at Patrick McDonnell's work every day, depending on which comics your newspaper carries. McDonnell draws a strip called Mutts featuring a dog and a cat named Earl and Mooch, respectively. Charles Schulz called it one of the best comic strips of all time.


 Singer/Guitarist Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins performs onstage during Live Earth New York at Giants Stadium on July 7, 2007 in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Evan Agostini, Getty Images

Yes, you know him better as just plain old Billy Corgan: he's the face of the Smashing Pumpkins, engages in public feuds with Courtney Love, and maybe once dated Jessica Simpson. He made his debut on March 17, 1967.


Patricia Ford is a retired model probably best known for her Playboy photoshoots in the 1990s.


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