Just heard from a friend who saw a Romney sign today, "Believe in America." He felt it was too innocuous, too blandly patriotic.
My initial reaction was agreement. I said that I hoped the Romney campaign would not be hamstrung by the same thing that held back the McCain campaign: passivity engendered by fear of being called racist.
But then I realized that the slogan's subtext is that Obama does not believe in America -- certainly not in the center-right, robustly capitalist country it has always been. And at that level, it works.
My friend replied, unfortunately most people are not going to put that much thought into it.
But I think it actually works better at the subconscious, or at least barely conscious, level.
Driving home the message subtly is probably more effective than a direct attack.
And anyway, how much can you really say with three words?
Obama's new slogan is "Forward," just one word.
(The last three words are left unsaid: "off the cliff.")