Life-long presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich launched his latest candidacy with the slogan: “Win the Future.” If that sounds familiar, you probably watched Obama’s State of the Union address, where he debuted it to the world–or you saw the recent White House Correspondents Association dinner where Obama relegated it to joke status (start at 2:54 of Obama’s own parody video).
What most folks don’t realize–and the Atlantic deftly discovered today–is that Newt Gingrich, whose campaign only launched this week, actually registered “American Solutions for Winning the Future” with the IRS under section 527 of the tax code on October 6, 2006. The group has handled his political ops ever since.
The catchphrase failed to catch on with pushes from both politicians. And both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a field day with it; senior economic advisor to the President, Austan Goolsbee, strained to contain his laughter after Jon Stewart indulged himself with the question, “Is that how we win the future?”
Stephen Colbert devoted a small segment to the doomed slogan back in January, “Yes! We’ll win the future. If we just keep pumping quarters into it, this thing’s gotta pay off.”
But Gingrich, apparently, will give it another go–it was right there on the front of his new presidential website.
He doesn’t even mind that Obama bit hijacked his steeze. “We think it’s great, Gingrich’s campaign spokesman Rick Tyler wrote to the Atlantic. “We intend to have a head on debate of whose policies will actually win the future and whose policies will lose the future.”
It’s truly a phrase worth fighting for.
There is, after all, a thriving market of American flag-themed “WTF” tote bags and T-shirts; think of all the money he’ll save with an army of hard-core religious grandparents marching in the streets branded with the much loved Internet acronym.
Gingrich is out to show the world that he’s hip; this week, he launched his presidential bid over at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, operating under the obvious strategy that word of his campaign bid was best spread through the nation’s grandchildren. Those same grandchildren will be more than happy to not-awkwardly tell grandma what her T-shirt actually means.
In all honestly, we’re baffled by the branding move–both by Gingrich, first, then Obama, now Gingrich again. WTF, indeed.