Ask any media manager or branding expert, and they will likely all agree — coming up with a good slogan is crucial to any campaign.
It holds true in the high-wire world of political campaigning, where a candidate’s slogan should compel people to volunteer their time, donate their money and ultimately cast their vote. Heck, Donald Trump digs his slogan so much that every single piece of clothing for sale on his campaign site sports the full catchphrase.
Some candidates opt to make their slogan a play on their name, while others rely on a full phrase or two to get their point across. With such a crowded field this cycle, InsideGov takes a look at the campaign slogans of the 21 declared presidential candidates. Candidates are listed alphabetically by their last name.
#21. Jeb Bush, Republican
Campaign Slogan: Jeb!
Aside from Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush may have the best-known surname of the presidential candidates, which might explain why he opted to go with just his first name for his campaign. The former Florida governor is son of and brother to two previous presidents (George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, respectively) and, in case you haven’t heard, the Republican Party is just not that into establishment candidates.
To hear Jeb (or, rather, Jeb!) explain it to Stephen Colbert, though, the exclamation point “connotes excitement.” Related: The super PAC supporting Bush is called Right to Rise, a phrase the candidate employs on the campaign trail and during debates, but isn’t officially his slogan.
#20. Ben Carson, Republican
Campaign Slogan: Heal + Inspire + Revive
The retired pediatric neurosurgeon leans heavily on his background in medicine for his presidential campaign slogan, Heal + Inspire + Revive. But it seems to be working for Ben Carson, who polls at a firm second place behind Donald Trump.
#19. Lincoln Chafee, Democrat
Campaign Slogan: Fresh Ideas for America
With a grabby, unique name like Lincoln Chafee, we are kind of surprised that this campaign didn’t go the Jeb Bush route and employ “Lincoln!” as its campaign slogan. A Republican turned Independent turned Democrat, Chafee has logged years as a U.S. senator and Rhode Island’s governor, and boasts that he has had no scandals during his political career.
#18. Chris Christie, Republican
Campaign Slogan: Telling it Like it Is
Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign slogan, much like the candidate himself, needs little unpacking. The New Jersey Republican doesn’t hold back, whether he’s telling a heckler to “sit down and shut up” or suggesting a young woman clean out her ears at a New Hampshire town hall because she supposedly misquoted him about climate change (she didn’t).
#17. Hillary Clinton, Democrat
Campaign Slogan: Hillary for America
In 2008, during her first run for president, Hillary Clinton went the exclamation point route with her “Solutions for America!” slogan. This go-around, the former Secretary of State chose “Hillary for America,” which makes sense when you think about her well-known status in American politics (when it comes to Democrats named Hillary, there’s really only one). But it is interesting that her campaign didn’t utilize her last name, which she shares with one of the more popular presidents in the last 30 years.
#16. Ted Cruz, Republican
Campaign Slogan: Reigniting the Promise of America
Sen. Ted Cruz has got his brand consistency covered. The Texan’s logo is a red, white and blue flame, and his slogan (“Reigniting the Promise of America”) maintains the fire theme. It all makes sense, when you think about it: Cruz has made a name for himself as a fiery, no-holds-barred member of the often staid Senate.
#15. Carly Fiorina, Republican
Campaign Slogan: New Possibilities. Real Leadership.
As another Republican presidential candidate who has never held elected office, Carly Fiorina emphasizes her business-world experience with her campaign slogan, “New Possibilities. Real Leadership.” The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard has relied on two very strong debate performances to help gain traction among the 15 Republican presidential candidates.
#14. Jim Gilmore, Republican
Campaign Slogan: none listed
A former governor of Virginia, Jim Gilmore is at the bottom of the presidential polling pack, coming in at a firm 0.0 percent. His campaign committee is called “Gilmore for America,” which could pass as his slogan. But Gilmore’s lack of campaign merchandise for sale and his minimal national exposure (CNN excluded him from the most recent GOP debate in September due to his low poll numbers) mean he hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to throw out a memorable catchphrase or two.
#13. Lindsey Graham, Republican
Campaign Slogan: Ready to Be Commander-in-Chief on Day One
As one of only three candidates with military experience, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham relies on his Air Force background and foreign policy knowledge to differentiate himself in the crowded Republican field. Indeed, Graham’s campaign site makes national security an immediate focus.
#12. Mike Huckabee, Republican
Campaign Slogan: From Hope to Higher Ground
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee pulls on a lot of different heartstrings with his campaign slogan. First off, Huckabee is from Hope, Ark., and “From Hope to Higher Ground” is the title of his 2007 book, which came out right before his first presidential run in ‘08. And while higher ground could mean any number of things (taking the high road and not engaging with Donald Trump’s jabs, perhaps?), it is almost certainly a tip-of-the-hat to evangelical Christians, who delivered him a surprise win at the Iowa caucuses during his last run.
#11. Bobby Jindal, Republican
Campaign Slogan: Tanned, Rested, Ready
Armed with a résumé thick with political experience in the last 14 years — a post in the Department of Health and Human Services under former President George W. Bush, member of the House of Representatives from 2004 to 2008, Louisiana governor since 2008 — Gov. Bobby Jindal still boasts he’s “Tanned, Rested, Ready” for the White House. Not only is Jindal the U.S.’s first Indian American governor, he’s also the first Indian American to run for president.
#10. John Kasich, Republican
Campaign Slogan: K for US
Gov. John Kasich’s campaign slogan is more a combination of letters and signs than a motto. It takes a K, adds three flowing red lines that connote a flag and contains the phrase “for US,” with “US” in caps and underlined in blue. The Ohio governor and former congressman is running as a firmly moderate candidate, which matches that firmly moderate logo.
#9. Martin O’Malley, Democrat
Campaign Slogan: Rebuild the American Dream
The former Maryland governor suffers from scant name recognition, but Martin O’Malley continues to truck along the campaign trail. At the end of September, O’Malley — known for grabbing a guitar and singing a tune or two at his rallies — held a fundraising contest in which he serenaded the winner with a personalized thank-you song.
#8. George Pataki, Republican
Campaign Slogan: People Over Politics
Despite serving three consecutive terms as the governor of one of the most populous states in the U.S., former New York Gov. George Pataki isn’t gaining much traction in the campaign — he hovers at around 1 percent in the polls. As a Washington Post editorial articulated in May, Pataki’s brand as a moderate Republican doesn’t quite resonate with GOP primary voters.
#7. Rand Paul, Republican
Campaign Slogan: Defeat the Washington Machine. Unleash the American Dream.
Despite its laundry-like overtones, Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign slogan is a total win for how perfectly it reflects his anti-establishment mantra. And the Kentucky Republican gets bonus points — many, many bonus points in InsideGov’s book — for some of the best campaign merchandise this cycle. A signed pocket-sized Constitution? A T-shirt with a dog in sunglasses and holding an American flag in its mouth with the phrase, “Unleash the American Dream”? Well-played, sir.
#6. Marco Rubio, Republican
Campaign Slogan: A New American Century
Only a few years into his first term in the Senate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was named as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2012 (the VP slot ended up going to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan). But this year, Rubio is at the top of the ticket, and his poised performances at the GOP debates have given him a boost in a crowded primary field. In fact, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dropped out of the race, Rubio’s team collected a fair amount of Walker supporters.
#5. Bernie Sanders, Democrat
Campaign Slogan: A Political Revolution Is Coming
With a motto like “A Political Revolution Is Coming,” the Vermont Democrat doesn’t exactly silence critics who think he’s too much of a radical to be president. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign also uses “Not for Sale,” to emphasize his horde of small-dollar donors, and “Feel the Bern,” a rallying-cry-meets-hashtag that the campaign has embraced on its online store.
#4. Rick Santorum, Republican
Campaign Slogan: Restore the American Dream for Hardworking Families
Former Sen. Rick Santorum hits all of the important notes with his (kind of long) slogan — America, dream, hardworking, families. According to InsideGov tallies, the Pennsylvanian Republican, who ran for president in 2012, is one of the more conservative candidates in the GOP nomination fight.
#3. Jill Stein, Green Party
Campaign Slogan: #ItsInOurHands
A candidate in the 2012 contest, the Green Party’s Jill Stein is taking another stab at the presidency this cycle. Stein, a doctor from Massachusetts, announced she was running for the White House in June. She is the only candidate with a hashtag as her official campaign slogan, although Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (#FeelTheBern) and former Gov. Jeb Bush (#AllInForJeb) are using their hashtags in heavy rotation in their respective campaigns.
#2. Donald Trump, Republican
Campaign Slogan: Make America Great Again!
Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump has no shortage of catchphrases — and all of them are going to be yuuuugggeee. For starters, in 2004, Trump filed a trademark application for the phrase “You’re Fired!” which he uttered countless times as the host of “The Apprentice.” But as he has turned his attention to the White House, Trump’s focus now is on how to “Make America Great Again!”
#1. Jim Webb, Democrat
Campaign Slogan: Leadership You Can Trust
The former Virginia senator is one of the longshot Democratic candidates running for president (i.e. he’s not Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders). Jim Webb paints himself as a moderate Democrat, and made his no-frills campaign announcement via an online open letter on his website.