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Political Cliches

From dKosopedia

Political Cliches for Political Candidates (from


Candidate Descriptions

Here are the phrases to use when describing a candidate. 'She' can be substituted for 'he' where appropriate.

Running a Campaign

Slogans and logos

One of the first things to establish is a campaign slogan. All successful politicians fight for something. Good things to fight for are Working Families, Our Children, or better yet Our Children's Future. You can say just about anything while on the campaign trail provided you tie it to Our Children's Future. If your opponent is already using a "fight" slogan, then you should consider "working" for something in yours. Realize that Working for Working Families sounds pretty awkward. Incorporate "fight" in your campaign before your opponent does.

Most successful campaigns make use of the red-white-and-blue color scheme. A stars-and-stripes decor in campaign signs, buttons, banners, and brochures is a nice extension of this principle. If your opponent grabs these colors before you do, you'll be at a significant disadvantage.

Brochures, town hall meetings, and sound-bites

Employ as many of the following cliches as possible. Try to use "We" in favor of " I " and "Our" instead of "My". People like to believe that we're all in this together. Always talk about our children even if you don't have any of your own.

Discussing Polls


If you are going to disagree with your opponent during a debate, be sure to preface your comments with "With all due respect" even if you have no intention of showing any semblance of respect in your rebuttal.

You can deaden an impressive statement your opponent makes by starting your reply with: "The fact of the matter is...". Although his comments may be 100 percent accurate, this subtle remark conveys the impression that he doesn't have his facts straight.

A nice way to summarize a long, meaningless, rambling remark is with the words: "At the end of the day...". This gives the half-asleep audience the impression that you see the "big picture" in a seemingly complex subject. It is crucial for a successful politician to have a powerful stage presence. The majority of people who watch political speeches have little interest in what is being said. They are evaluating a speaker's delivery style and mannerisms while paying scant attention to the content of the speech. The speech can and should be filled with cliches (listed below), interspersed with facts and figures that may or may not have some connection with reality. But the speaker must look convincing while delivering a speech, even in the rare case that something of significance is being said.

The Power Fist

A speaker should always have the hands in motion and make plentiful use of authoritative gestures. The most important hand position is the Power Fist. To attain this position, follow these simple steps: 1) Raise one hand to about chest-level. 2) Make a fist with the thumb on top. 3) Slightly uncurl the index finger so that the thumb rests in the notch of the middle joint of the index finger.

You should have the position demonstrated by former California governor Gray Davis in the adjacent photo -- a good way to visualize the Power Fist is to imagine you are holding a small American flag. The key component of this gesture is having the thumb clearly protruding above the clenched fingers.

You are now ready to make your statements with confidence and authority. The best way to use the Power Fist is to punch the air while simultaneously emphasizing individual words at the end of a sentence. Let's say you are proposing some program and you want to promise that there's something in it for everybody. End your last statement with "...FOR-EACH-AND-EVERY-AMERICAN...", each word spoken in cadence with a deliberate punching move from the Power Fist. This will guarantee applause from your audience.


Pauses add drama to boring speeches. If you do not include pauses, you might as well sing your audience a bedtime lullaby - the effect will be the same. While pauses are always important, it is critical to interject them in any theme that involves Seniors, Families, or Our Children. Here, one can bite the lower lip as if you are about to be overcome with the emotion of the moment. It's very convincing.

Analysis of a Debate

Cliches for Speeches

A good political speech should use lots of cliches, the choice of which depends on whether you are an incumbent, a challenger, or just trying to impress your constituency. Here's a sampling:

For Incumbents

For Challengers

Political Talk Shows

Nationally televised Sunday morning talk-shows offer expert analysis and commentary on politicians, political parties, and other political matters. What you'll wind up hearing is a slew of cliches, including many of the following:


This is some of the spin you'll hear after a public figure gets caught in a scandal:


On election night, the television networks and local affiliates have many, many hours of extended coverage. Their sets are always decorated red-white-and-blue with a "mission control" look and a slogan that says something like Decision 2004. This is the greatest day of the year for political cliches, including many that are heard only on this special day:

Candidate Speeches


Here are some cliches to use during election recounts:

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This page was last modified 00:38, 22 July 2007 by dKosopedia user Roger. Based on work by dKosopedia user(s) DRolfe and Peeder. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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