Hillary Clinton is clearly the most qualified person running for president in either party but she has a problem: She has no strategic message, no over-arching statement that illuminates her values, purpose or direction.
“I’m With Her” and “Ready for Hillary” are crap. Not only are they focused on her and not us, they tell us nothing about where or how Clinton would lead us into the future.
For all their faults, Donald Trump – “Make America Great Again” – and Bernie Sanders – “A Future You Can Believe In” – at least make thematic assertions around which their supporters can rally and which give shape and form to their campaigns.
Clinton is great on prosaic specifics and her granular knowledge of policy is unmatched. But except for the fact that she’d be the first woman president – and that’s not nothing – she has no political poetry, no rallying cry, no umph.
Get Real, Hillary Our proposal for Clinton – and she’s free to steal this as soon as possible – is this: “Real Progress.”
This has the advantage of contrasting with Bernie’s frenetic idealism and it co-opts his claim to be the only progressive in the race. It’s also what Clinton stands for, which has the advantage of being consistent and truthful.
At least 50% of your Calbuzzers have been harping on the need for Democrats to develop a strategic message for at least a decade. We even came up with a few ourselves in earlier incarnations of ourselves, including “Flex Your Power” for California’s energy conservation program.
According to John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira: The starting point for all political organizing and campaigns should be: “What are my core beliefs and principles and how do I best explain them to supporters and skeptics alike?”
A strategic message is what John Kerry never had. And why no one could tell you what he stood for. Bill Clinton called for a New Covenant in 1992. Barack Obama called for “Change You Can Believe In” in 2008. Both of these stand up well to other great strategic messages, to name a few:
— A New Deal
— Peace, land and bread
— Compassionate conservatism
— Great society
— Liberty, equality and fraternity
— Morning in America
Words That Last These are more than slogans – but slogans are important too. A slogan is a memorable phrase used in a political or commercial context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose. The word “slogan” comes from sluagh-ghairm (pronounced slogorm), which is Scottish Gaelic for “battle-cry”.
— All the news that’s fit to print. (1896)
— Speak softly and carry a big stick (1904)
— When it rains, it pours (1911)
— Mmm mmm good (1935)
— A little dab’ll do you. (1949)
— Finger lickin’ good. (1952)
— I like Ike (1952)
— It takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’ (1956)
— We try harder. (1962)
— All power to the people (1967)
— The Uncola (1973)
— Don’t leave home without it. (1975)
— Just do it. (1988)
In short, Hillary needs a bumper-sticker message that also serves as a rallying cry. “Fighting For You” is so old and tired, nobody is buying it.
The bill is in the mail.