Well, it looks like the Obama re-election campaign has rolled out a slogan: “Forward.” And as Mike Allen, a Politico pundit opined yesterday on Morning Joe, it is likely to have more appeal than let’s say: “It Could Be Worse.”
But let’s face it, Forward doesn’t quite equal Winning The Future, the possible slogan that became, for an obvious reason, a punctured test balloon earlier this year.
That pretty much sums up the upcoming election campaigns, while speaking to the state of the nation these days in general. I digress.
So now I guess it’s a contest between MSNBC — “Lean Forward” — and Fox News — “Fair & Balanced.” [Hat tip to Joe Scarborough.]
Here’s from Accuracy in Media:
In 2008 Barack Obama campaigned on “Hope and Change,” and won the presidency. Today, with millions of Americans still unemployed and economic growth slowing down, voters may be looking for hope and change but with a different president.
With that in mind, the Obama campaign today released a new video, complete with a new slogan: “Forward.”
This probably makes the executives at MSNBC happy, as the new slogan very closely resembles the network’s own “Lean Forward” slogan that they unveiled in 2010, sans Al Sharpton reminiscing about blueberry pie.
And from WaPo’s Alexandra Petri:
The Obama campaign has its new slogan. And that slogan is: “Forward.”
Was “Reply-All” taken?
Maybe “Forward” makes sense, given that the theme of the reelection effort has been Vaguely Creepy E-mails You Don’t Want. (“David — Every night in the White House, I see Barack up late poring over briefings, reading your letters, and writing notes to people he’s met. He’s doing that for you — working hard every day to make sure we can finish what we all started together. This week, I need you to have his back.”)
Forward is also Berlusconi’s party, for whatever that’s worth (it sounds better in Italian, like most things.) It’s a basketball position Obama played briefly.
If your slogan is frequently prefaced by the phrase, “I hope I’m not being too . . .,” it might not be a great slogan.
If your slogan is just one or two notches above BCC, it might not be a great slogan.
I suppose most other directional terms are off the table. “Onward? Upward?” Too Christian Soldier. “Backward” is right out. “Rightward?” Seems unlikely. “Leftward?” What, and play into the Romney campaign’s projections? “Toward The Center” doesn’t even make sense in context.
On average, President Obama’s slogans are pretty good. This is to say that his last slogan was extraordinary and this one is abjectly terrible.
But American politics is littered, as Andrew Kaczynski points out, with the refuse of bad slogans. As long as we’ve had slogans, they’ve been bad. “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”? No wonder William Henry Harrison died a few weeks into office. It wasn’t pneumonia. It was embarrassment.
“We Polked You In ‘44, We Shall Pierce You In ‘52.” I wish I were making this up, but it’s still mildly better than “Forward.”
“Let Well Enough Alone,” McKinley’s second-term slogan, was a bit brusque and to the point, but it’s still about as good as “Forward.”
“I Still Like Ike” acknowledged the second-term problem and still managed to be endearing.
Last time around, I voted for Obama — hoping for change that I could believe in.
That, to paraphrase Jimmy Kimmel at Nerd Prom, was hilarious.