Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

5 Things Not To Do When Running For President

Created: 25 June, 2015
Updated: 21 November, 2022
4 min read

It's not even 2016 yet and the race to be the next President of the United States has already delivered some memorable punchlines. The GOP field is getting longer than a pre-teen's Christmas list and more bodies on the field means there are more chances to fumble the ball. Additionally, the average presidential candidate is over 50 years old, which has proven to be a disadvantage in the Internet age. Social media missteps, online gaffes, as well as good old-fashioned bad ideas are still spilling onto the campaign trail, but here are 5 things any future presidential campaigner should steer clear of:

1) Use a strange launch video

I'm pretty sure Bobby Jindal just announced he's running for president. I say pretty sure because it's nearly impossible to hear what's going on in his decidedly unique announcement video:

I had to tell a few people first. But I want you to be next. I’m running for President of the United States of America. Join me: http://www.bobbyjindal.com/announcement/

Posted by Bobby Jindal on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jindal's new campaign website, BobbyJindal.com, launched Wednesday with a series of videos featuring his family in their backyard discussing the tough questions facing America today. Questions like, "Will the Jindals get a new puppy?", "Did you see that turtle over there?", and "What did he say? I can't hear anything."

2) Spend less than a minute designing your campaign logo

When former Florida Governor Jeb Bush debuted his campaign logo last week, the Internet basically laughed in his face.


Wired even went to far as to call it "worse than a piece of crap." If you're a candidate trying to appeal to voters as original, forward thinking, innovative, and definitely not one of those boring establishment candidates - then it's important to get your logo right - or at least not get it wrong.

Hillary Clinton's logo got a similar treatment, but for different reasons. Politico trashed the design when her campaign launched in April, saying:

Some high-minded critics say it’s all wrong. The arrow’s direction and its Republican-minded red color, for starters, has raised alarm that she’s signalling an imminent political shift to the right.

Twitter was just as unforgiving:


3) Have 4 people show up to a campaign event

On June 8, the Rick Santorum campaign brought new meaning to the phrase "low key" campaign stop when just 4 supporters showed up to shake hands and eat steak. Santorum called it a success, but at a rate of 4 votes per event, he'd need to be campaigning for the 2020 presidential race, not the 2016 one.


4) Forget to buy your domain name

If someone were to make a laundry list for a presidential campaign, it would be a mile long. But somewhere near the top of of the list should read, "Remember to buy candidatefirstandlastname.com"

Republican presidential candidates Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina all forgot to check this one off the list. Lucky for Paul, it only cost him $100,000, according to National Journal.

Fiorina and Cruz weren't so lucky. Carlyfiorina.org takes you to a website that highlights the number of layoffs that took place while she was the CEO for Hewlett-Packard - it was 30,000 according to the site.

Ted Cruz also got burned by forgetting to register tedcruz.com. The bare-bones site simply says "SUPPORT PRESIDENT OBAMA. IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW!"


5) Be Donald Trump

If presidential campaigns were won by the number of outlandish phrases the candidate could throw into one speech, Trump would already be president.

Here are just a few from his announcement speech:

"I'm really rich... And by the way, I'm not even saying that to brag. That's the kind of mindset, that's the kind of thinking you need for this country."

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best."

"The new China in terms of trade is Mexico."

"It's like taking the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and having them play your high school football team. That's the difference between China's leaders and our leaders."

"You have to get hit by a tractor, literally a tractor to use [Obamacare]."

"I have so many websites. I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a website. It costs me three dollars."

"I have lobbyists that can produce anything for me. They're great!"

"Obamacare kicks in in 2016, really big league."

"We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again. It's not great again."

"Our country needs a truly great leader and we need a truly great leader now."

"We also need a cheerleader."

"There is so much wealth out there that can make our country so rich again and therefore make it great again because we need money."

"I'm very proud of my family. They're a great family."

"We're becoming a third-world country because of our infrastructure, our airports, our roads, everything."

"I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created."

Great job, Donald!


Image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr