"Ma, Ma, Where’s My Pa?"
During the 1884 election, James G. Blaine was up against Grover Cleveland. When rumors started surfacing about Cleveland having an illegitimate son, Blaine saw his opportunity to point out his moral shortcomings. However, Cleveland won the election and his supporters added “Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha!” to the end of Blaine’s slogan.
"Vote as You Shot"
"Sunflowers Die in November"
This one takes a fair amount context. In 1936, current president Franklin Roosevelt was running against Alf Landon, who was from Kansas. The state flower of Kansas is the sunflower, so Roosevelt used a roundabout, irrelevant metaphor to say that his opponent would flake out come election time. This was only slightly worse than Landon’s slogan: “Let’s Make It a Landon-Slide.”
"Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too"
Much like soap advertisements of his era, William Henry Harrison decided to use the technique of rhyming. He received the nickname “Tippecanoe” after he lead U.S. forces to victory at a battle with the same name, and he was running with John Tyler as his vice president. Harrison won the election, but he died on his 32nd day in office due to pneumonia complications.
"Cox and Cocktails"
Warren G. Harding was a firm believer in Prohibition, unlike his opponent James Cox. Not only did his slogan sound like a dirty movie, but it also distanced him from America’s working class, who were in favor of repealing Prohibition. However, Harding took a sizeable lead and served until his death.
"It’s Morning Again in America"
While actor-turned-president Ronald Reagan had already been fairly popular in his first term in office, he decided to go all out. By saying that “morning” had come, it seemed like he was owning up to the mistakes he had made as president and vowing to correct them this time. It doesn’t seem very presidential to ask for a do-over.
"Don’t Swap Horses in the Middle of the Stream"
Abraham Lincoln had made great use of his time in the White House, but his slogan for re-election was less than ideal. Instead of focusing on his accomplishments, he used an old adage to let everyone know that his work was only half finished. It worked in his favor, though, as George B. McClellan only won two states in the election.
"Let Well Enough Alone"
"Let America Be America Again"
John Kerry was trying to point out moral shortcomings in the country during his 2004 campaign, but surely there was a better way to phrase it. Technically speaking, America is America no matter what is going on in the nation. It just seems like a slogan his chief of staff thought would look good on a T-shirt.
"It’s the Economy, Stupid"
When he was running for his first term as president, Bill Clinton decided to shine a spotlight where the Bush administration had fallen short. While this tactic is fine, it's rarely polite to use an insult in your presidential slogan. This breach in standard protocol gave Clinton’s opposition more ammunition, as they deemed him a backwards hillbilly.
“A Common Man For All”
If you didn’t know Joe Exotic before, you definitely know him after we were all forced to watch his Netflix docu-series in forced quarantine! This backwoods, Oklahoma “Tiger King” tried his hand at politics not once, but twice! He ran for president in 2016, and Governor of Oklahoma in 2018. Let’s just say 2016 and 2020 were strange times.
Perhaps the weirdest turn of events in 2016 and 2020 is Kanye West’s run for presidency. We’re pretty sure that Kanye is also the first presidential candidate in history to include a hashtag in their campaign slogan. Unfortunately, all that #2020VISION put too much pressure on West, and in July he had a very concerning meltdown on Twitter that derailed his campaign completely.
"Impeach Rocky to prevent imminent nuclear war"
If a conspiracy theorist ever ran for president, it would look a lot like Lyndon LaRouche’s record breaking 8 runs for president. As funny as it is to poke fun at conspiracy theorists, LarRouch took it completely too far. He had some pretty heinous claims against the Jewish people, and he was imprisoned for trying to defraud the IRS and defaulting on $30 million dollars of loans from supporters.
“Power to the people.”
Cynthia McKinney, the Tupac advocate, was the Green Party nominee in 2008. Before running for president she served in Congress and attempted to pass a bill to release secret records on the death of Tupac Shakur. Talk about a Super fan! She also accused the government of executing over 5,000 men after Hurricane Katrina. Her only source was a phone call, from a “verified source.” Ok, Cynthia.