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Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at rossmurr@aol.com
Posted 02.17.04
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

Catch phrase gets two thumbs up

Why is John Kerry leading the Democrat's push for the White House? It's the catch phrase, stupid.

Like "Where's the beef?" and "Read my lips," Kerry's "Bring it on" has captured the imagination of a nation - a nation that watches a lot of mediocre videos.

Some would argue that the origin of Kerry's campaign catch phrase is George W's school-yard response to the possibility of more attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq. But Bush never said, "Bring it on." He said, "Bring 'em on."

Kerry's "bring it on" (or more specifically a haltingly wooden "Bring - It - On!") actually references the chirpy 2000 cheerleading flick of the same name starring Kirsten Dunst (not to mention the well-timed straight-to-video sequel Bring It On Again).

After all, you don't get a catch phrase to stick by being original; you've gotta tap into the people's pop-culture preoccupations. In fact, Kerry's "Bring - It - On" was not his campaign team's first choice. Strategists sampled other film titles before settling on this rah-rah reference.

Here are some of the rejects. For full effect, stand up and bellow slowly in a faux-Kennedy monotone in front of a crowd of starry-eyed minions:

  • "You've - Got - Mail!"
  • "Hear - My - Song!"
  • "My - Left - Foot!"
  • "What - Women - Want!"
  • "Don't - Look - Now!"
  • "Eight - Crazy - Nights!"
  • "I - Am - Sam!"
  • "Driving - Miss - Daisy!"
  • "Die - Hard - 2!"
  • "Truth - Or - Dare!"
  • "Mars - Needs - Women!"
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