Campaign slogans are sometimes powerful things. And at their most powerful, they sometimes even decide whole elections.
“It’s the economy, stupid” – 19942 Clinton/Gore
Simply brilliant. And it wasn’t even their “official” slogan, but it stuck. And to this day is more memorable than whatever their “official” one was.
Like that, the best ones in history are succinct. They are are sufficiently chant-able. And above all they are true.
They also tend to fall into certain categories. Such as:
“Change you can believe in” – 2008, Obama/Biden
CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS CHANGE:
“Back to normalcy” – 1920, Harding/Coolidge
“A chicken in every pot. A car in every garage.” – 1928 Hoover/Curtis
“Grandfather’s hat fits Ben” – 1888 Harrison/Morton
“Grant us another term” – 1872 Grant/Colfax
“Remember Hoover!” – 1936 Roosevelt/Garner
And… finally… SEXUAL:
“We Polked you in ’44, We shall Pierce you in ’52” – 1982 Pierce/King
So, what category does that put McCain/Palin’s seemingly simple, yet all-of-a-sudden-everywhere “Country First?”
Of course, it takes you to John McCain’s military service. As it is intended to do.
But look closer. It does something else, too. And to explain what, exactly, that is, we will let the unassuming woman I recently met in a rural Utah Bed and Breakfast, while watching McCain’s Convention keynote, clarify.
HER: “Hmmm. Country First… I like that slogan.”
ME: “Really? What do you think it means?”
HER: “Well, that John McCain thinks of his Country first, before other things.”
ME: “Before other things? Like what?”
Sometimes the most powerful things, are the simple things.