I fantasize about running for President, but in the same way I fantasize about being Batman. I wouldn't want either job, but it's fun to think about how I'd handle certain situations. One situation that pops up all the time is when a reporter asks a candidate to respond to his opponent's campaign promises to do the impossible. My fantasy answer would be "My opponent thinks voters are stupid."

The great thing about that answer is that it would generate world headlines. Second, it would resonate as being honest and accurate. You'd have to make sure you weren't making unrealistic promises yourself, and that's the hard part. But it would be a killer line.

Calling your opponent names, like flip-flopper, clearly works to some extent. But telling voters that your opponent thinks THEY are stupid would work even better, especially if it is clearly true that he thinks that.

I've also been working on good sound bites for both Obama and McCain. Obama's sound bite is easy. He took heat for suggesting a specific timetable for withdrawal before he had visited Iraq and talked to the generals. That seemed dumb. Then he made the best political move I have ever seen, by saying a President has to see the bigger picture, so generals in Iraq can't be the ones to determine when we leave. Agree with him or not, it was a brilliant political move. He needs to capture that in a soundbite: "Generals fight wars. Presidents make peace." It sounds like universal wisdom. That's a good sound bite.

Now that the Iraqi Prime Minister wants the U.S. to leave on Obama's timetable, McCain's biggest issue is gone. Even if you think McCain was right about the surge, it is no longer relevant to the election. No one cares that an old guy once made a good decision. The average voter doesn't know enough about economics to make the economy a powerful issue for McCain, and it's too late for him to start hammering on social issues. So McCain's sound bite needs to be something vague yet persuasive. I suggest: "Do voters prefer words or actions?"

The great part of that sound bite is that everyone is programmed to automatically prefer words to action. And to the extent that Obama is viewed as a great orator, and McCain is seen as more of a man of action, you start thinking the sound bite actually means something. And phrasing the sound bite as a question forces the listener to automatically answer it, thus reinforcing it in the irrationsl part of the brain. It is the political equivalent of "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." It sounds like a reason to the unreasonable part of your brain, which unfortnately makes most of your decisions.

The other sound bite I have been thinking about wouldn't work for the election, but it's funny: "Change is good until it's your turn to be the diaper."

Do you have a better sound bite for this election?

[Disclaimer: I don't think either candidate meets the minimum standard to be president. And I won't have a preference until I complete a poll of economists that I'm working on now.]

Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +7
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0 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 15, 2008
You can become Batman:

So why not run for President as a day job?
Aug 9, 2008
Scott. I have 3 kids. The last diaper sound bite made me fall off my chair laughing. If you are ever out in Cornwall (U.K.), and want to come over for a BBQ, let me know!

Aug 1, 2008
Its the price at the gas pump stupid !!!

+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 30, 2008
Don't you think it's interesting that the best (only?) soundbite that you came up with for McCain appealed to people's irrationality, rather than to anything the least bit substantive?

One would almost think that you thought the voters were stupid...
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 30, 2008
I'm with It's Dave on this one.

Obama sucks.
McCain sucks.

"A tax payer voting for Obama is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders."

Leaves but one choice then.
Jul 30, 2008
Either candidate: "At least I'm not Bush."
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 30, 2008
Snabby: I lol'ed.
Jul 30, 2008
Guess this isn't html friendly. Here's a site to see the video:

Jul 30, 2008
You should check out the <a href="http://www.disillusionedwords.com/?p=375">hilarious Jib Jab video</a>. It features Obama on a Unicorn and McCain in a tank. It's al set to the tune of "The Times They Are a-Changin'" but instead it says, "It's Time For Some Campaignin'".

Jul 30, 2008
DNC: Vote early and often.

McCain: Elect me and I'll give back my Social Security.

Obama: Who's your daddy?
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 30, 2008
No McPain, No McCain.
Jul 30, 2008
Batman's slogan : " White creamy filling inside a Hard black shell"
McCain : "Waterboarding? Phhht...I slept through that "
Obama : " It's time the Whitehouse had a new paintjob "
Google : terryplanet
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 30, 2008
Are you receiving less comments here than at the old site? I used to comment at the old site, but this is the first time I am commenting here.

Anyway, what I think would be cool is, if you can post the same poll at your site and enable your regular readers to participate in it. This way, you can also test if the miracle of aggregation actually works and what the deviances of your regular readers to your panel of expert economists are.
Jul 30, 2008
"Change is good until it's your turn to be the diaper."

This is interesting the more I think about it. Elections are about redistributing scarce resources and people taking turns to pay taxes, take fewer govt. services, etc. Yet it doesn't have to be. All we have to do is drill for oil off shore and other places, drive down the cost of gas, which automatically lowers taxes because people automatically pay less sales taxes when the prices of foods, and other items go down. No tax-cuts need to be passed, but no taxes need to be increased because everyone can buy things again and improve the economy, reducing the need for govt. services. This will be good for liberatarians, too, because every body could afford a household where they can live as their values decide.

I'm looking forward towards the day we don't need the two parties anymore. Forget the oil buddies arguement--I AM an OIL BUDDIE!
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 30, 2008

Last Italian elections, a man yelled "only idiots would vote for [main opposing political faction]", instantly insulting some millions of voters.
That man is our current Prime Minister.

There's a flaw in your catchphrase. =)
Jul 29, 2008
@ It's Dave
RE: "The move in question, of course, is Obama trying to explain why he's been endlessly advocating we surrender in a war we are winning. Uh-huh. Brilliant."

Actually, Dave, "surrender" is a total misconception. Imagine this:

Billy thinks David is telling lies about him in class. Billy goes over to David's house when David is alone, and beats David up. While he's beating David, who doesn't put up much of a struggle, his friend phones him and says "You should really leave, David's parents (ie, the world pointing fingers) may come home soon." Billy, being smart, decides he has punished David enough for the lies he thought David had told about him in class. So Billy picks up his backpack, accepts the scratches on his arm from pummeling David and making sure he can never really walk again, and goes home.

It's not surrendering, Dave, it's pulling out. "Winning" -- well, was there ever any doubt there would be a loss? It's won. Saddam is dead. How many more Americans do you think need to die before a clear "victory" is reached, and what do you consider a clear victory? Americans like you stick the country in a bad position, geopolitically, and give internationalized Americans a bad rep for being supporters of warmongering. Uh huh, brilliant.
Jul 29, 2008
Telling voters they are stupid would hit where it hurts the most. As they say, you can ruffle somebody's hair, but don't you dare touch his toupee.

If a candidate ever used 'voter' and 'stupid' in the same sentence, it would be blown up into a big issue by the media and he would ultimately be made to apologize to the 'stupid' public.

In short, never mind if your opponent really thinks that voters are stupid, it is you who would have to apologize for saying so.

This is modern day ethics, without any relevance to truth or integrity - what matters is simply the appearance of things.
Jul 29, 2008
Obama's race baiters
make McCain voters out as haters,
Jul 29, 2008
Osama for Obama
gives no pain to McCain.
Jul 29, 2008
For McCain: Cancerous but still mostly continent--you should have gone with snarky for your user name! I will most likely vote for McCain, but I am still chuckling!
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