The 2016 circus has a variety of slogans
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was in Columbia in January and then in Greenville earlier this month. That 145-year-old institution is nothing compared to what’s been going on in South Carolina and will continue for the next 10 days. The clown car is making the rounds as the Republican and Democratic candidates descend on our lovely state. In years past, candidates have made appearances at Presbyterian College – George W. Bush, John McCain – both came to PC in a blistering 2000 campaign after McCain topped Bush in New Hampshire. Former President Bill Clinton made an appearance for his wife Hillary in 2008, but soon-to-be president Barack Obama came out ahead in South Carolina. As of today, no candidate has announced an appearance at PC and that’s a shame. It would be interesting – and a recruiting boon – to have national media attention focused on the Blue Hose if only for a few hours. Wouldn’t it be great to have a debate in Belk Auditorium? There’s still time, but not much. The Republicans vote this coming Saturday with the Democrats following on Saturday, Feb. 27. This newspaper isn’t going to endorse a candidate. That would be the kiss of death for that candidate. But, in no particular order, let’s take a look at the candidates’ slogans. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s slogan is simple: Jeb 2016. He once had an exclamation point after the year, but that seemed extravagant. Bush is the low-energy candidate, after all. Jeb is not his name, after all. It’s his initials. His name is John Edward Bush. So when you refer to him as Jeb Bush, you are actually saying John Edward Bush Bush. Like PC College. Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson’s slogan appears to trade on his former profession: Heal. Inspire. Revive. Someone needs to perform CPR on his campaign, which is in the throes of death. Former HP executive Carly Fiorina’s slogan is: New Possibilities. Real Leadership. The other female in the races for the nominations, Hillary Clinton, has a simple slogan: Hillary For America. In case we forget which country she’s running to be president of. Clinton’s only remaining competitor on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders, mimics Fiorina when he proclaims: Bernie For President. Former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, an early casualty in the GOP side, also went for simplicity: Bobby Jindal for President. The only Democrat to drop out of the race for the nomination, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, went for Rebuild The American Dream. One would guess the dream crumbled under the weight of unrealistic expectations. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, no longer a candidate, has the longest slogan: Defeat the Washington Machine. Unleash the American Dream. We’ve heard of the Washington Redskins (sorry anyone who is offended), the Washington Nationals, the Washington Generals and the Washington Wizards. But Sen. Paul has a bee in his bonnet for the Washington Machine. Jim Gilmore is a former governor of Virginia. That’s all we got to learn about him before he dropped out of the Republican race. His slogan: Gilmore For America. Not as snappy as Virginia is for Lovers. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker was another early casualty in the Republican dog sled race. If he decides to ever make another run at the White House, he’ll have to change his slogan: Walker 16. Former New York Governor George Pataki announces he is all about People Over Politics. That could be why he is an early-also ran. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had The Courage to Fight for America. The voters of America had the courage to fight back and he’s gone. Former Texas governor Rick Perry has run for the GOP nomination a couple times. He made a trip to Laurens County during one of his campaigns. In 2016, his slogan was: Tested Leadership. Proven Results. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign slogan is: A Political Revolution is Coming. Too esoteric. A better suggestion: I’m Giving Hillary a “Yuge” Case of Heartburn. New Jersey governor Chris Christie is: Telling It Like It Is. A better suggestion: Telling It Like I See It Is From the Shutdown George Washington Bridge. Former Ohio governor John Kasich sees a: New Day For America. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says: Courageous Conservatives – Reigniting the Promise of America. That’s really a lot to try to fit on a t-shirt. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announces: A New American Century. That’s would have been a fabulous slogan for the 2000 campaign for the presidency. Not so much for 2016. Our favorite is former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s slogan: From Hope to Higher Ground. Huckabee, who has made a few stabs at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., is no longer in the 2016 race. We assume the former Baptist minister’s slogan trades on his hometown of Hope, Arkansas. Bill Clinton is another Hope, Arkansas, native. Perhaps a better slogan for Huckabee would have been: Huckabee—From Hope, but not Hillary’s Husband. And, of course, Donald Trump, rich guy, wants to: Make America Great Again. That seems to be in the vein of Taking America Back from whoever took it. It’s also reminds us of John Kerry’s loser: Let America be America Again. In 2008, Barack Obama proclaimed Change We Can Believe In. John F. Kennedy announced A Time for Greatness in 1960. His opponent, Richard Nixon, said he was the one For The Future. He was correct. For Nixon, the future was in 1968. To circle back to where we started, the circus is called The Greatest Show On Earth. The clowns and the elephants (and donkeys) are getting a run for their money in South Carolina.