[Clem] Whitaker and [Leone] Baxter won nearly every [political] campaign they waged…. Every campaign needs a theme. Keep it simple. Rhyming’s good (“For Jimmy and me, vote ‘yes’ on 3.”) Never explain anything. “The more you have to explain,” Whitaker said, “the more difficult it is to win support.” Say the same thing over and over again. “We assume we have to get a voter’s attention seven times to make a sale,” Whitaker said. Subtlety is your enemy, “Words that lean on the mind are no good,” according to Baxter. “They must dent it.” Simplify, simplify, simplify. “A wall goes up,” Whitaker warned, “when you try to make Mr. and Mrs. Average American citizen work or think.”—Jill Lepore, These Truths: A History of the United States (2018), p. 451
One of the first efforts by Whitaker and Baxter’s Campaigns, Inc. was to defeat Sinclair Lewis’s bid to be elected governor of California in 1934.