Campaign slogans and the ASUC election

Political buttons
Lynn Friedman/Flickr /Courtesy

Spring is an exciting time for politics at Cal. We’re sure you’ve noticed the energy and aggression of campaigners on Sproul over the past few weeks, not to mention some of the more interesting campaign gimmicks meant to grab your attention. However, we were surprised (and disappointed) at the lack of catchy campaign slogans used by prospective candidates this year. In light of this, we thought we would compile a list of catchy, famous and effective campaign slogans of past U.S. presidential elections to inspire campaigners to make some catchy chants for their candidates.

1840 — “Tippecanoe and Tyler too” from the campaign of William Harry Harrison and John Tyler

1852 — “We Polked you in ’44, we shall Pierce you in ‘52” from the campaign of Franklin Pierce

1872 — “Grant us another term” from the campaign of Ulysses S. Grant

1928 — “Hoo but Hoover?” from the campaign of Herbert Hoover

1948 — “I’m just wild about Harry” from the campaign of Harry S. Truman

1952, 1956 — “I like Ike” from the campaign of Dwight D. Eisenhower

1960 — “We can do better” from the campaign of John F. Kennedy

1964 — “All the way with LBJ” from the campaign of Lyndon Johnson

2008 — “Yes we can” from the campaign of Barack Obama

There are some pretty interesting tactics used in these slogans that Cal campaigners might consider. Alliteration and chantability are certainly popular approaches in several slogans. The use of sexual euphemism by Franklin Pierce made us giggle, but we should point out that he didn’t actually win the election. Harry Truman’s 1948 slogan is actually derived from a song that was quite popular at the time, so maybe a modern election could consider using the Harlem Shake or a Taylor Swift song. The Kennedy and Obama phrases assume more sweeping, hopeful and proactive tones that we see as most closely embodying the spirit of Berkeley.

What slogans would you come up with for this year’s ASUC candidates?

Contact Meagan Kane at [email protected]

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