As we begin the countdown to Nov. 3, we are certain to see an increase in election slogans, which have become an American tradition. They are the brands used to market presidential candidates.
An early example of presidential branding was the election of 1840, which popularized the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.” As Indiana territory governor during the early stages of the 19th century, William Henry Harrison had defeated the Shawnee in the Battle of Tippecanoe and was hailed as a national hero. His campaign for president in 1840 sought to capitalize on the fame afforded by the battle, adopting the slogan, which was also the title of a popular campaign song that praised his achievements. He became known as “Tippecanoe,” and the “Tyler Too” portion of the slogan referred to his vice presidential candidate, John Tyler. Harrison won the election, becoming our ninth president, but his tenure was short. He died of typhoid a month after his inauguration, and Tyler, the afterthought in the slogan, served as our 10th president for the remainder of the term. The impact of presidential slogans is evidenced by the fact that “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” is still remembered today, even though its subject was a one-month president.
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