Oprah Winfrey better brace herself.
Liberals are calling on the former talk show host to run for president in 2020. If she decides to enter politics, Winfrey will almost certainly be subject to one of President Trump’s signature moves: branding his opponents with sticky nicknames.
Some find President’s penchant for name-calling childish. Others think the habit is a breathe of fresh air in an era stifled by political correctness.
“Dilbert” cartoonist and trained hypnotist Scott Adams has called the president’s nicknames “linguistic kill shots,” arguing they’re carefully engineered and A/B tested to inflict maximum damage.
According to Adams, what makes a “kill shot” effective is that it’s based on truth. President Trump’s nicknames bring to mind the target’s faults every time you hear them.
What would be the ideal epithet to bring down the beloved media mogul. Can you channel your inner-Trump and brainstorm a “kill shot” of your own?
As some food for thought, these are some of the most notable ones the president has dished out.
Perhaps the most famous nickname, largely because it’s the one President Trump used to defy all odds and beat the candidate widely seen as the 2016 shoe-in.
The president came up with “Crooked Hillary” in the summer of 2016.
The beauty of the simple term was that it powerfully spoke what was on everyone’s mind: from the Clinton Foundation to the private email server to Benghazi, Hillary Clinton was a shady candidate.
The genius behind “crooked” is that it’s highly visual–perfect for a candidate who often appeared to be on the verge of keeling over.
Much to her chagrin, “crooked” is a descriptor Clinton is likely to never live down.
Low Energy Jeb
I used to think Jeb Bush wasn't #cool and couldn't relate to #millennials. Then I saw him in this hoodie. pic.twitter.com/5VHg0EE9tm
— Max Weiss (@maxthegirl) October 26, 2015
The Clintons were one political dynasty President Trump demolished. The other was the Bushes.
Initially seen as a viable front-runner, Jeb Bush never recovered from the portrayal as a weak candidate whose personality was blander than dry toast.
Like Bush, Marco Rubio was long considered the inevitable candidate–before President Trump got through with him.
The “Little Marco” and “lightweight” monikers worked so well because of the vast height difference between the 6’2” Trump and the 5’9” Rubio.
Ted Cruz has been a conservative favorite for many years. But his actions capturing delegates during the primaries played into President Trump’s accusation that he was trying to “rig” the election–effectively cementing the “Lyin’ Ted” kill shot.
Arizona senator Jeff Flake has been one of President Trump’s staunchest critics within the Republican party.
After he was caught on a hot mic making disparaging comments about the president, the commander-in-chief unveiled the personalized nickname.
Sen. Jeff Flake(y), who is unelectable in the Great State of Arizona (quit race, anemic polls) was caught (purposely) on “mike” saying bad things about your favorite President. He’ll be a NO on tax cuts because his political career anyway is “toast.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
The beauty of the nickname is that it’s already built into the senator’s actual last name. “Flakey” communicates what many Republican voters believe–that Flake is a Republican-in-name-only whose dedication to conservative principles is questionable.
President Trump lampooned the comedian-turned-senator by comparing him to the legendary monster after groping allegations against him surfaced.
That Franken had to step down is a testament to the power of the president’s nicknames.
Fake Tears Chuck Schumer
President Trump couldn’t resist taking a jab at the Senate Minority Leader, who teared up when voicing his opposition to the travel ban last January.
One of President Trump’s most creative nicknames, Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren practically walked into the trap herself by claiming she’s part Native American.
Warren has repeatedly hit back at the attack. But you know it’s bad when even “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah says the senator’s claim of Native American ancestry is “problematic.”
With the “Rocket Man” nickname, President Trump proved himself to be America’s most poetic public figure since Muhammad Ali.
Why Rocket Man?
The president deflated Kim Jong Un’s fear-inspiring persona by reducing him to an overweight man-boy who likes to play with rockets as a way of compensating for his sensitive ego.
Plus, it slams Kim with silliness by making you hear the Elton John song in your head each time you see the North Korean dictator.
Sloppy Steve Bannon
Whatever one might think of Steve Bannon, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: “well-groomed” does not describe him.
The president penned the perhaps-obvious kill shot after the Breitbart head’s damning quotes for the book “Fire and Fury” became public.
If anything, the brief list shows President Trump has more linguistic acumen than his critics give him credit for.
How would the New York billionaire go after the woman he once said he’d like to have as his vice president?
There’s certainly a lot of material to work with. There’s Winfrey’s notoriety for giving away free stuff on her talk show. There’s her perpetually shifting body weight.
Whatever President Trump dishes out, it’s certain to be memorable.
If Oprah wants to salvage her carefully-guarded brand, she’d do well to reconsider that presidential bid.
What would be your nickname for Oprah? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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