Presidential Slogans Trivia


By: Paula Green

By now you recognize “Make America Great Again” as Donald Trump’s campaign slogan and Hillary Clinton’s – “Stronger Together,” but have you ever heard of “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too?”  That slogan is 176 years old and belonged to William Henry Harrison of the Whig party.  Harrison was a hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, and John Tyler was his vice presidential candidate.

Abraham Lincoln’s first presidential run in 1860 utilized the saying, “Vote yourself a farm,” which referred to the Republican Party promise which granted homesteaders land in the west.  “Don’t swap horses in the middle of the stream,” was Lincoln’s 1864 re-election theme.  It means once a candidate has been chosen, then it’s not possible to “swap” for a better candidate.

Woodrow Wilson campaigned in 1916 with the catchphrase, “He kept us out of war.”  Ironically, five months later Wilson brought American into war with Germany after they launched unrestricted submarine warfare.  After World War I in 1920, Warren G. Harding’s election promise was “Return to normalcy” campaign.

Herbert Hoover’s bid for the White House in 1928 used the motto, “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”  This claim meant that everyone would be prosperous under a Hoover presidency.

A short, appealing catchphrase came from Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, with “I like Ike.”  A few other short ones were – Richard Nixon’s “Nixon now” (1972); Ross Perot’s “Ross for boss” (1992); in 2008 – Barack Obama’s “Hope”; and John McCain’s “Country first.” In 2012, Obama utilized the slogan, “Forward.”

In 1964, there was interesting bantering going on between Lyndon Johnson and his opponent Barry Goldwater.  Goldwater’s slogan was, “In your heart, you know he’s right.”  Johnson rebutted with “In your guts, you know he’s nuts,” which left the country to believe that perhaps Goldwater was unfit for the White House.

Grits and Fritz,” was heard in 1976, it referred to Jimmy Carter’s southern roots and his running mate Walter Mondale’s nickname.  In 1984, Walter Mondale ran against incumbent Ronald Reagan.  He used the phrase, “Where’s the beef?” which was a take-off from a famous Wendy’s® commercial.  Reagan’s re-election slogan that year was, “It’s morning again in America.”

In 1988, George H.W. Bush vied for a “Kinder, gentler nation.”  His son George W. Bush in 2004, called for “A safer world and a more hopeful America.”

Since we have presented you with presidential rhetoric for America we must now delve into this campaign slogan query.  Get set to wave those banners and don those campaign hats because it’s time to get a little trivial.

  1. In 1900, this candidate gave us “Four more years of the full dinner pail.” He was re-elected but was assassinated six months into his second term.
  2. Theodore Roosevelt ran against Alton B. Parker in 1904. He won the election in a landslide.  What was he his campaign catchphrase?
  3. What year did Calvin Coolidge run with his “Keep cool with Coolidge” platform?
  4. Besides Lincoln, who else used the “Don’t swap horses in the middle of the stream?”
  5. Contrary to newspaper headlines, Harry Truman defeated Thomas Dewey in 1948 what was his campaign saying?
  6. Who used the slogan “A time for greatness?”
  7. This 1968 presidential candidate campaigned with, “To begin anew.”
  8. In 1976, his phrase was – “He’s making us proud again.”
  9. This candidate posed the question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
  10. Ross Perot ran as an independent candidate in 1992 what was his party affiliation?
  11. In 1996, who campaigned with “The better man for a better America?”
  12. Leadership for the new millennium,” was this candidate’s slogan in 2000.
  13. Which independent candidate used the motto “Government of, by, and for the people…not the monied interests?”
  14. Name the 2016 presidential candidate who used the slogan, “ Inspire. Revive.”
  15. This year, Gary Johnson’s slogan is, “Our best America yet!” what slogan did he used in his 2012 presidential bid?


Answers:  1. William McKinley  2. Speak softly and carry a big stick  3. 1924  4. Franklin Roosevelt  5. Give’em hell Harry!  6.  John Kennedy  7. Gene McCarthy  8. Gerald Ford  9.  Ronald Reagan  10. Reform party 11. Bob Dole  12.  Al Gore  13.  Ralph Nader 14. Ben Carson  15. The people’s president