Hello Cleveland!

Posted: Feb 26, 2007 11:13 AM

If you've ever seen the movie Spinal Tap, you'll recall the scene when the band (who is touring America) yells to the audience: "Hello Cleveland! (Trouble was, they weren't in Cleveland).

Despite the pitfalls of mistaking the city you're actually in (they were a rock band, after all), it is quite common (and even suggested) for political candidates to try to mention the hometown restaurant -- or local high school football team -- when giving a stump speech.

Hotline's On-Call blog proves regional references aren't just for candidates. Seems Democrat strategist Chris Lehane has started using them, too:

Lehane: "If you're running as a transformative candidate, you have to be careful not to degrade the brand you're offering. Taking a whack at Bill Clinton with Democratic primary voters is like taking a whack at Derek Jeter when you're trying to appeal to Yankee fans" (DeFrank, New York Daily News, 2/23). Still more Lehane: B. Clinton "is as popular with Democratic primary voters as Cal Ripken is with Baltimore Orioles fans" (West, Baltimore Sun, 2/23).