As I was searching my hard drive for a manuscript, I came across the following description of how 4 words helped transform Dwight D. Eisenhower from an outsider to the presidential nominee at the Republican Convention in 1952.
As the U.S. lumbers along toward Election 2012, candidates of both parties would do well to craft there slogans and sound bites for results. Intellectuals distain them. Critics malign them. But voters heed them.
Did Four Words Make a President?
By Alton Ketchum
How powerful are slogans in politics?
Here's a story of one that helped to make history.
In 1952 America was at a political crossroads. Should we continue our worldwide commitments undertaken during World War II, or should we pull back behind our frontiers?
The problem found human expression in two leaders.
One was General Dwight D. Eisenhower, recently victorious in Europe and since 1950 commander of NATO.
The America-First Committee was led by Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft, whose partisans wanted to return to policies pursued before the advent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Both were contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.
Up to the convention, scheduled for July 7 at Chicago, many seasoned observers thought the General had only an outside chance.
As one who believed that the U.S. should play a strong and constant role in world affairs, I wondered what could be done to help his cause.
Perhaps a good slogan would project the story.
The problem was how to put that case in a way which would not be too invidious to the powerful senator and his ardent cohorts.
I tried dozens of word combinations, ranging from delicately suggestive to the heavily assertive, and kept coming back to one: