Back in 1980, Ted Kennedy made a long-anticipated run for the White House against a very vulnerable Jimmy Carter, and looked like he might prevail in the primary — until Kennedy offered up one of the all-time worst flubs in national electoral politics:

Hey, at least Kennedy had an answer, incoherent as it was.  Barack Obama told ABC last week that he’s still trying to come up with a slogan to explain why people should vote for him again:

The man who made “change we can believe in” and “yes, we can” hallmarks of the 2008 presidential race is still searching for a catchy phrase to define his next campaign.

“We’re still working on it,” President Obama told ABC News’ Barbara Walters when asked about his slogan in an exclusive pre-Christmas interview.

“I think that’s a great question,” Obama said, grinning. “If those middle-schoolers have any suggestions, let me know.”  (Walters’ question had been written by a young American student and Obama admirer.)

While no official selection has been made 313 days before the election, Obama’s campaign team has been testing a mix of pithy phrases meant to reflect the president’s accomplishments and vision for the future – all while deflecting attention  from the lagging economy and some of the promises from 2008 that didn’t quite get  fulfilled.

“We’re still working on it”? Maybe they haven’t had enough time yet.  After all, they’ve only been at it for almost a year.  If they have to test proposed slogans for a year to avoid referencing Obama’s flops, then maybe that should tell them something.  Besides, isn’t this why campaigns hire professional advertising executives?  If a candidate has to wait a year for well-paid consultants to create a campaign slogan, that tells you something about that candidate’s executive competence … although nothing we don’t already know.

How about “No I Can’t”? Seems to fit in this instance.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!