The Buzz

TheChat: Barack Obama initially wondered whether his slogan was 'too corny'

Obama’s slogan
Obama’s slogan AP

Good morning.

▪ “‘Yes we can.’ Isn’t that too corny?” then-state Sen. Barack Obama on the slogan that carried him through his race for the U.S. Senate, then the White House.

Former campaign adviser David Axelrod discloses the remark in this new book, “Believer,” that chronicles Axelrod’s years with Obama. Axelrod said Michelle Obama saved the idea, saying the slogan was “not corny.”

▪ “I believe that people are looking for the leaders that I’m looking for.” — former Missouri state Rep. Randy Asbury who just announced that he’s running for the GOP nomination for governor. (link courtesy of

Asbury of north-central Missouri joins a field that already includes Republicans Catherine Hanaway, the former House speaker, and state Auditor Tom Schweich. Asbury told the Missourinet that the state needs a leader who doesn’t get hung up in the politics of big decisions, a presumed reference to Gov. Jay Nixon.

▪ “I do think we have to make sure we're extremely careful that we're not legislating by special tax breaks for individual companies as if we think that's going to build this economy.” — Nixon, a Democrat, on tax bills that are working their way through the General Assembly.

Last year, Nixon vetoed several tax bills, and his office and GOP lawmakers agree that they’re working together more closely this year to avoid that kind of confrontation again.

▪ “It’s simply too much, too quickly, too soon.” — Kansas state Rep. J.R. Claeys, a Salina Republican, who said he opposes a decision Monday to allow Gov. Sam Brownback to raid the state highway fund of $280 million over the next two years.

The House Transportation and Public Safety Budget Committee that Claeys chairs reversed itself Monday and agreed to Brownback’s plan to shift state highway dollars to fill a budget shortfall created by the governor’s big tax cuts. Despite Claeys’ concerns, he did not oppose the move, but said afterward that more study is needed to gauge the impact of taking that much money from the highway program. Still, the reversal is yet another example of the power that Brownback continues to wield in the Statehouse.