Someone who expresses doubt or excessive worry about a political outcome.
ABC News reports that David Plouffe, President Obama’s former campaign manager and top political adviser, first coined the term in 2008 when Democrats began openly fretting about their political challenges.
Plouffe used the term again before the 2010 midterm elections in a Washington Post op-ed when he urged “no bed-wetting” among Democrats: “This will be a tough election for our party and for many Republican incumbents as well. Instead of fearing what may happen, let’s prove that we have more than just the brains to govern — that we have the guts to govern.”
A term coined for a Saturday Night Live sketch mocking George W. Bush and his reputation for mispronouncing words during the first presidential debate in 2000.
Comedian Will Ferrell played Bush in the sketch and was asked by the debate moderator to summarize “the best argument for his campaign.” His answer was “strategery.”
After the 2000 presidential election, the Washington Post reported that Bush staffers reportedly began using the term as a joke and even referred to the president’s political team as “The Department of Strategery.”
Bush himself used the term in a 2001 interview with CNN, presumably as a self-deprecating nod to the comedy sketch.
A primary to select candidates what is run by a political party and not the state.
Similar to a party canvas, a firehouse primary allows the party to keep control of the nominating process while allowing more participation than a party caucus. Participants generally arrive at multiple polling places anytime during announced polling hours, cast a secret ballot, and then leave.
William Safire noted the earliest in print reference to a firehouse primary was a 1990 Washington Times article about the selection of Democratic Party candidates for the county board in Arlington, Va.
The practice of setting music to awkward, B-roll footage of a politician.
The term was coined after Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) re-election campaign in 2014 posted a two-and-a-half minute video of the senator campaigning set simply to music. As Time points out, the footage “was most likely placed there for outside PACs supportive of McConnell to use, a practice circumventing campaign finance rules barring coordination used by both Republicans and Democrats.”
The Daily Show coined the term “McConnelling” and provided a few hilarious examples, putting the footage of McConnell to Salt-n-Pepa’s “Whatta Man,” Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence” and Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”
Said host Jon Stewart: “Here’s the secret. It works with every song that has the word ‘eyes’ in it.”
To travel around the country or state making political appearances during a political campaign. The phrase was first used when pilots would travel around the country to entertain with their flying skills.
All-Things-Aviation: “A typical barnstormer (or a group of barnstormers) would travel across to a village, borrow a field from a farmer for the day and advertise their presence in the town by flying several low passes over it – roaring over the main street at full throttle. The appearance of the barnstormers was akin to a national holiday. Entire towns were shut down and people would flock to the fields purchasing tickets for the show and plane rides. Locals, most of them never having seen planes before, would be thrilled by the experience. In several towns parties would be organized on such occasions in the honor of the barnstormers.” Now the word has come to mean a political speech given on the road.”
A nickname for Louisiana Gov. Huey Long because of his larger-than-life status in Louisiana. He was assassinated in 1935.
The Social Security website states that: “A farm boy from the piney woods of North Louisiana, he was colorful, charismatic, controversial, and always just skating on the edge. He gave himself the nickname “Kingfish” because, he said, “I’m a small fish here in Washington. But I’m the Kingfish to the folks down in Louisiana.”
Short for “good government guys,” referring to people who would fight for government reform.
This was used during the 1970s as a derisive term for those who were fighting to clean up city municipalities. James Merriner writes that the phrase was “attributed to Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun in the late nineteenth century. Goo goo might have originally been applied to members of the Good Government Association of Boston, energized by Harvard reformers in suburban Cambridge.”
A ticket for an election in which the lower position is occupied by a more attractive candidate than the higher position.
The Chicago Tribune defines it “a combination of nominees in which the running mate is more appealing than the presidential candidate (possibly coined to refer to a kangaroo’s propulsion from its hind legs, or to the weight it carries in its bottom half).”
The phrase originated during the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Democratic party leaders wanted a more experienced nomination. As Salon notes, “The choice of John Nance Garner, Speaker of the House, for the second spot on the ticket exacerbated the problem. The popular Texan was much better known and more experienced than Roosevelt. One disappointed Texas colleague complained, ‘It’s a kangaroo ticket. Stronger in the hindquarters than in the front.'”
The phenomenon whereby certain people are “mentioned” to journalists as possible candidates for higher office.
Scott Simon of National Public Radio explained: “The late Art Buchwald used to talk about the Great Mentioner — some unnamed person who told pundits and reporters a lot of people say this, a lot of people say that. Art said that if you trace back exactly who said this and that, it was usually just the reporters and analysts themselves that tried to splash a coat of credibility over sheer speculation by putting it in the mouth of the Great Mentioner.”
Ryan Lizza attributes the term to New York Times columnist Russell Baker who used it “to describe the mysterious source who plucks politicians from obscurity and mentions them to political journalists as contenders for higher office.”
Attempting to diminish a political foe by likening his or her words to remarks on “legitimate rape” made by former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) while seeking a U.S. Senate seat in 2012.
Bill Lambrecht: “Akinize has been used often to describe political attacks since those remarks about rape and pregnancy effectively scuttled Akin’s political ambition. Google finds Akinize 15,000 times.”