Los Angeles Times

Bypass debates; the right slogan's all it takes

There was a time when candidates put some effort into their campaign slogans. The classics include William Henry Harrison's "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," Herbert Hoover's "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage" and Michael Dukakis' memorable "Kick me, I'm a loser!"

California's recall, in contrast, is a slogan disaster. The only attempts are ultraconservative Tom McClintock's "Building a bridge to the 15th century" and Gabor impersonator Arianna Huffington's "Read my lips: No new taxes. Well, not for me, at least. My accountants know all the loopholes."

To counter this slogan shortage, topfive.com has generously developed some campaign sayings for California's would-be governors.

For instance, Mathilda Spak, the 101-year-old write-in candidate, could try these:

If you don't like one of my ideas, don't worry — I won't remember it the next day.

It's not as if the current governor can hear you either.

Term limits? Not a problem!

Topfive's slogan possibilities for Gary Coleman include: "I'll solve the deficit by having a rich white man adopt the state," "Size doesn't matter, right guys?" and "Hey voter! Down here!"

For billboard bimbo Angelyne, the slogan ideas include: "Can anyone possibly be more vapid than Gray Davis? Yes!" and "Bringing the silicone to Silicon Valley."

Mottos for porn actress Mary Carey include: "Dying to get in bed with special interest groups — and film it!" and "For once, let the people screw the governor."

Stay tuned for more slogans in future columns.

For whom the Bell polls

After nose-diving to 0% in last week's Taco Bell poll, Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose survey standing is determined by purchases of Beef Crunchy Tacos, reclaimed the lead this week with 58% of the votes. The Grilled Stuft Burrito, which represents the minor candidates, finished second with 39% (down from 82% last week), while Chalupa Cruz Bustamante captured 2% and Chicken Soft Taco Davis seized 1%.

Analysts blamed Schwarzenegger's poor showing last week on reports that the Beef Crunchy Taco gave a lurid interview to Sí magazine in 1978.

The Beef Crunchy Taco has since apologized, saying it did "crazy, outrageous things" in its youth and "never lived my life to be an entrée on Taco Bell's menu."

Late-night blotter

"Gray Davis was making fun of Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent. He said, 'If you want to be governor of California, you have to be able to pronounce it.' Arnold replied, 'To be governor of California, you should be able to govern it.' " (David Letterman)

"A political protester hit Arnold Schwarzenegger with a raw egg, but Arnold said he didn't mind because protests like that are what makes this country great. Then Arnold ran the guy over with his Hummer." (Conan O'Brien)

"A bill allowing illegal immigrants from anywhere in the world to get California driver's licenses was passed by the state Assembly. And if you snuck into California from the Middle East, they'll give you a pilot's license as well." (Jay Leno)

Senior advisor: www.oregonlive.com/edge. "Recall Madness" runs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in Calendar. E-mail roy.rivenburg@latimes.com. To view past columns, visit www.latimes.com/recallmadness.

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