(WASHINGTON) — House of Cards character Peter Russo may have kicked the bucket, but his campaign slogan hasn’t.
Real-life gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf — who, like Russo, is a Democrat vying for the Pennsylvania governor’s mansion — recently touted himself as “a fresh start” for the state. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Russo used the same slogan in season one of the Netflix drama.
Wolf’s campaign was apparently unaware of the parallel initially, but by Tuesday, they joined in on the joke after a regional politics website noted the similarity.
“@HouseofCards starts on Feb 14, but on Nov 4 we’ll elect Tom Wolf as #PAgov & give Pennsylvania a #FreshStart,” the Wolf campaign tweeted.
— Tom Wolf (@WolfForPA) February 12, 2014
There’s just one small hiccup with the comparison: Russo was a cocaine-snorting, prostitute patronizing, scandal-ridden politician. But as long as voters don’t take the comparison too far, Wolf is banking that the Netflix series tie-in will give his campaign a publicity boost.
“Fresh Start” isn’t the only political slogan resurrected recently.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is dusting off “Let America Be America again,” a political catch phrase coined by the John Kerry team in 2004.
Originally the title of a 1938 Langston Hughes poem, the motto seems to resonate on both sides of the aisle. It rallied Kerry’s liberal base, but Brownback, who introduced the slogan to the Republican Governors Association’s “American Comeback” project, is hoping it will be similarly effective in the GOP.
Conservative Sen. Rick Santorum also used a variant of the slogan, “fighting to make America America again,” in his 2012 presidential campaign, but quickly backtracked when someone informed him that the line was written by a poet who is believed to have been a closeted homosexual.
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Laura Koran, CNN
Mike Price, BYU-Idaho Scroll
Daniella Diaz, CNN
Tom Kludt and Jeremy Diamond, CNN