Between misquoting former presidents, citing Seinfeld characters and referencing random writers, presidential candidates sometimes speckle their speeches with head-scratching phrases and out-of-left-field references.
Mitt Romney, for example, dropped a reference to baseball legend Yogi Berra in a speech to newspaper editors on Wednesday. Vice President Joe Biden made mention of "Samuel Clemens" aka Mark Twain while talking to college students Tuesday. And President Obama mistakenly attributed a quote to Rutherford B. Hayes in a not-so-veiled dig at his GOP rivals in March.
Clark Judge, who worked as a speechwriter for former President Ronald Reagan, said tossing in a quote makes a political speech more interesting and often more memorable.
"You're connecting with popular culture and chancing the pace of the speech a little bit, giving it some color," said Judge, who now directs the White House Writers Group.
A well-placed quote, he said, can add not only humor to a candidate's speech, but it can also up their cultural credibility and increase the idea that they are in touch with voters.
"That's why humor is important," Judge said. "In part, it's not just entertainment it's a way of saying 'this is someone who can keep his perspective.'"
As the candidates aim to connect with their constituents, here's some notable quotes they could consider weaving between their talking points to up that all-important street cred.
|Reforming the Tax Code|
"Taxes are what we pay for civilized society" - Former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." -John F. Kennedy in his 1961 inaugural address
"The power to tax is not the power to destroy." - Former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
|Staying In the GOP Race|
For Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich:
"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly." - Langston Hughes
"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!" ? Audrey Hepburn
"You think I'm licked. You all think I'm licked. Well, I'm not licked." - Jefferson Smith, played by Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
|Repealing Health Care Reform|
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government." - Patrick Henry
When talking about repealing Obamacare:
"Yes I said yes I will yes." -James Joyce
"If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it's big enough to take away everything you have." - Former President Gerald Ford, after taking the oath of office in 1974
"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Failure is impossible." - Susan B. Anthony
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"Peter Finch's character Howard Beale in the move Network
|Attracting Women Voters|
"I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands" - Former First Lady Abigail Adams
|Responding to Rivals' Attacks|
For all candidates:
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."-- Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt