Tuesday 23 January 2018

Top 10 Political Slogan Misfires

Frank Whelan

Frank Whelan

With Kenny Egan flying the Fine Gael flag with the cringe worthy "Keeping it real" slogan, Independent.ie took a look at famous political slogans that could have been better.

"He killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him"

This was the slogan of presidential candidate Charles Taylor in the 1997 Liberian elections. Taylor won by a landslide, but most would attribute this to the belief that he would restart the civil war if defeated.

"Roosevelt for ex-president"

Wendell Willkie, candidate for the 1940 US presidency, decided to go down the route of giving his rival FDR publicity everywhere he went. This was not a winning strategy.

"He Kept Us Out of War"

With war in Europe on the cards, incumbent US presidential candidate Woodrow Wilson played upon his record of keeping America out of the Mexican civil war and the conflict in Europe. He won the 1916 election with the slogan and then brought the US into World War 1 in 1917.

"I'm you"

Christine O'Donnell's campaign video started with the phrase "I'm not a witch, I'm you." The Tea Party-supported Republican candidate failed to secure a US Senate seat, despite tackling negative coverage by assuring the electorate that she was just one of them.


"Jobs for youth - not condoms"

Slogan used by the Christian Centrist Party in the 1992 general election. While the party were trying to stop the perceived erosion of Catholic values in the country, the backdrop was a changing Ireland and a number of revelations about abuses in the church. The party fared badly and ceased to exist shortly afterwards.

Noel O'Flynn 2002 General Election slogan
Noel O'Flynn 2002 General Election slogan

"Save €20million, Fewer Politicians, Abolish the Seanad"

Fine Gael's referendum slogan tried to give the voters what they wanted, but the common denominator approach managed to cause insult and a resulting backlash. Politicians selling 'fewer politicians' was always going to raise eyebrows without context.

"You live in this area. Vote for this area."

For the 2002 General Election, Fianna Fail TD Noel Flynn got straight to the point of Irish politics' local roots with this election slogan. No policy needed, just geographic proximity. Mr. Flynn went on to top the polls.

"We Polked You in '44, We Shall Pierce You in '52"

American presidential candidate Franklin Pierce tried to be clever and play on the victory of his predecessor James Polk. Even though suggesting injury to the electorate would normally be advised against, Franklin went on to win the election. He's widely regarded as one of America's worst presidents.

"Me ne Frego!" - "We Don't Give a Damn"

Slogan used by Benito Mussolini's Blackshirts in Italy. Nothing screams dictator like a carefree attitude.

"Gilmore for Taoiseach"

The 2011 election saw a campaign miss-step when Labour put up their 'Gilmore for Taoiseach' posters. Taken as somewhat presumptuous, Labour suffered in the polls and a change in strategy soon followed, before colleague Joan Burton managed to get the posters out of her shed.


Let us know of any ones we missed by commenting below.



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