Time To Fear–UnderDog Is Here!

In interviews on TV shows,
In papers, or in someone’s blog
The campaigns fight like no one knows,
To claim the title “underdog”.

One candidate’s the president
And one a multi-millionaire;
Some sympathy’d be heaven-sent
And underdogs make people care

Let’s make a play for sympathy
And keep the expectations low
We’re not expecting much—you see,
We’re underdogs in this year’s show

“The other side” both sides proclaim
“Is clearly in the privileged seat”
It’s almost like it’s all a game—
The only rule is, don’t get beat.

Your tactic’s weak; the best you’ve got’s
A line of bullshit claims to flog
These stupid claims, and low cheap shots
Dilute the name of “Underdog”.

This race is interesting, in that it pits a multi-millionaire underdog against an underdog incumbent president. I don’t think there was a candidate this cycle that did not try on the mantle of “underdog”. From the first link, at the NY Times:

When Mr. Romney says he’s an underdog, that’s not humility: that’s branding. Last year, a team of scholars that included Harvard’s Neeru Paharia and Anat Keinan published a study called “The Underdog Effect: The Marketing of Disadvantage and Determination through Brand Biography.” They defined “underdog brand biography” as “an emerging trend in branding in which firms author a historical account of their humble origins, lack of resources, and determined struggle against the odds.” Their research, they say, demonstrates that telling a story about yourself in which you are an underdog builds brand loyalty, especially in cultures where “underdog narratives are part of the national identity.” Pretending to be an underdog is good business.

That’s right, the multi-millionaire is making a play for your pity.

And yeah, in its own way… that’s pretty pitiful.


  1. Psychopomp Gecko says

    naturalcynic, if it was about determining dominance beteen canines, I’d much rather be the overdog than the underdog. But that’s me, dawg.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    …“underdog narratives are part of the national identity.”


    In practice, USAnians identify only with unstinting, overwhelming POWER!!!

  3. The Ridger says

    Boy, I tried to make that fit the Underdog theme song, but it just doesn’t. Guess you weren’t trying for that, despite the post name. But you made me think of this Frost poem, Canis Major, so I’ll share it.

    “The great Overdog
    That heavenly beast
    With a star in one eye
    Gives a leap in the east.
    He dances upright
    All the way to the west
    And never once drops
    On his forefeet to rest.
    I’m a poor underdog,
    But to-night I will bark
    With the great Overdog
    That romps through the dark.”

    ps – damn WordPress. Why will it never remember who I am, and always erase my comment while forcing me to login … AGAIN?

  4. Tâlib Alttaawiil (طالب التاويل) says

    overdog? top dog? updog? (what’s updog?–not much, how you doing?)

    fitting that the first comment to this doggy post should be from a ‘cynic’–from the greek for ‘doglike’…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *