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Top Ten Other Great Men Who Tried Real Hard

by Keith Koffler on July 9, 2012, 4:27 pm

As most of you probably know, we’ve gone from “The Greatest Generation” to the “I Tried Real Hard Generation.”

These days, everyone’s a winner, everyone gets a trophy and everyone gets an “E” for Effort.

Consistent with this new ethos, my sources within the Obama campaign tell me they are changing the campaign slogan from “Forward” to “I Tried Real Hard.”

Here is President Obama unveiling the new slogan:

Let’s remember, it wasn’t just on bipartisanship that Obama tried real hard. He tried real hard to cut the deficit in half, to get unemployment below eight percent, to spur serious economic growth, to bring down health insurance premiums – which rose instead – and to stop the parade of foreclosures.

Writing in The Weekly Standard, Peter Wehner fleshes out nicely the various promises Obama tried real hard to keep. But didn’t.

But Obama really is stealing – he’s not the first Great Man to have made “Tried Real Hard” his catchphrase. White House Dossier today poured through the history books and found famous quotes from ten other men of substance who felt the effort was all the mattered.


1. Winston Churchill: “We shall try real hard to defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall try real hard to fight on the beaches, we shall try real hard to fight on the landing grounds, we shall try real hard to fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall try real hard to fight in the hills; we shall try real hard never to surrender.”

2. Martin Luther King: I have a dream that one day this nation will try real hard to rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

3. Ronald Reagan: “Mr. Gorbachev, try real hard to tear down this wall!”

4. Julius Caesar: “I came, I saw, I tried real hard.”

5. Arnold Schwarzenegger: “I’ll try real hard to be back.”

6. Teddy Roosevelt: “Try real hard to speak softly and carry a big stick.”

7. Phillip II of Macedon: “Divide and try real hard to conquer.”

8. John F. Kennedy: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall try real hard to pay any price, try real hard to bear any burden, try real hard to meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

9. George S. Patton: “Try real hard to live for something rather than die for nothing.”

10. Vince Lombardi: “Trying real hard to win isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”


Are there any others that you remember?


Mike Lester July 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm

“Try real hard to just do it.” -Nike

Death Ray July 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm

“Well y’know, I did try real hard. I think most people can see that I am a reasonable guy, even if they don’t like me. Y’know, I’m not some ideologue who signs whatever “pledge” a lobbyist shoves under his nose as if that lobbyist owned his soul or something. I mean, no one has ever said–no one–that behind the scenes I’m some sorta undercover asshole. Frankly, what you see is what you get.

“So yeah, I’ve tried hard. But it takes two to tango, and the other side wants a cage match. Well, that’s fine, but that’s not government. In a time of economic crisis, just like in a time of military crisis, sometimes the other side has to fall in line and remember who the president is, and that they’ll get their shot again in four years, but in the meantime, y’know… let a brother lead, like he was elected to do.

“It isn’t easy when you’ve got a Senate minority leader who says, point blank, that his party’s only priority is getting me out of office. I mean, doesn’t that sound like a party that isn’t putting the needs of the country first? Hey, America had just dodged a second Great Depression, but that didn’t mean we were free and clear. We’re in a situation where I need all hands on deck, and frankly, all I’m getting is the stink eye.

“But hey, I’ve tried. Even when they’ve called me every name but ‘nigger’, even when they interrupted my State of the Union address and were passing around jokes about how my mother fucked dogs– I think you’d agree that, on balance, I’ve been pretty patient.

“And look, I’m not even making a big deal of the fact that the other side’s candidate for president belongs to a weird-ass cult. I mean, given everything they’ve said about Jeremiah Wright and me being a closet muslim and all, you know darn well I am entitled. But I haven’t, and I won’t. Even now, I’m trying.

“The other side…

“…is NOT trying.

“And that’s the real goddamn problem, blondie.”

Mike Lester July 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

“let a brother lead”, fantasized the white guy trying to rewrite history.

Joel July 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm

If anyone is interested check out You tube….”Catholics called to witness”…powerful.

Steve July 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm

General Douglas MacArthur: “I’ll try real hard to return!”

Cymry July 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm

“I would prefer to try real hard not to.” — Bartleby (Melville)

“Try real hard to be sure you’re right, then go ahead.” — Davy Crockett

Langley Spook July 9, 2012 at 5:15 pm

love the Bartleby

Langley Spook July 9, 2012 at 5:18 pm

“Try real hard to abandon all hope ye who enter here” -Dante

srdem65 July 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm

You can really tell an IvyLeague educated lawyer by the way they talk.
If he’s not talking to the “folks” about “stuff”, or flailing at an imaginary opponent, then he’s whining and making pathetic excuses for his failures like he “tried really hard. Shame on him for looking for pity.

If I ever get in big trouble, I want a lawyer from AnyState College who earned his spending money tossing pizzas on the weekend.

cindylu July 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm

don’t forget thingamajig

srdem65 July 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm

How could I forget that? It had to be the stupidest thing to say when he was advising taxpayers how to spend their “windfall”. There is no thingamajig on your furnace that one can change and we all know that.

That brings to mind MrsO’s creepy fundraising letter where she relates that her husband always shoveled the snow off of her car so that she could go to work. She didn’t realize that she was admitting she was the breadwinner and he had no job at that time.
On another creepy level is her admission that he “tucks” her into bed at night. We must assume that he tries really hard but the best he can do is tuck her into bed. mybad

DeniseVB July 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm

That was creepy. I think happily married couples do nice things for each other every day without blasting the details to the world, let alone the First Lady.

Even good friends don’t share these sort of details of humdrum daily life of shoveling and tucking ;)

RickW July 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Kinda reminds you of Kerry looking to “Git me one of them hunting licenses”, doesn’t it srdem?

Guillermo Grande July 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

If at first you don’t succeed, try real hard to avoid skydiving.

Anonna July 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Early to bed and early to rise gives a man time for many really hard tries.

QueenOfScott July 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Late to bed and late to rise ends up with “only half ass tries” – credit Obama 2012

OldTimer July 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

If I ran the Romney campaign I’d publish Obama’s daily schedule all the while showing Obama with his feet propped up on the desk ans use Obama’s own words that he tries read hard.

He complains the Republicans won’t work with him. If I recall during the Obama Care discussions he made the comment to the Republicans,.”I won” which to me meant he did not have to compromise.

Lisa July 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

He also said ‘I won’ right after he took office to the reps that met with him and wanted to work with him.

QueenOfScott July 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Paul Ryan schooled him that day…

QueenOfScott July 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm

And my dead dog, Casper, poked his head over the counter, and said “Do not want”. I said, “Good dog”.

QueenOfScott July 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Keith, help me – put this down below by my cat quote :(

The Original July 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

That must have hurt WaPo to post that one.

Car in July 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

“Let’s try really hard to get unto the breach, dear friends, try really hard.”
-Henry V

RickW July 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

George Bush ACTUALLY said to Michael Brown after Katrina “Heckuva job, Brownie. You tried real hard!” but the media cut it short………

mo1 July 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm

I do solemnly swear that I will try real hard to faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability try real hard to preserve, protect and defnd the Constitution of the United States.

Barack Obama, unilaterally and silently modifying Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution

sportinlife10 July 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

absolutely classic!
Whaddaya make of the second private swearing in?

Cymry July 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

That second, private swearing-in never did set well with me. I thought at the time that something was up. Are there any pictures or video of this second swearing-in? On what book did he re-swear? Why were they so insistent on it being private instead of broadcasting it from, say, the Oval Office or East Room or something?

You would think that with something as important as the Oath of Office, especially so “historic” as one as this, they would either memorize it completely or at least write it on the back of their hands or something to make sure they get it word perfect. Maybe they didn’t quite have TOTUS up and running that morning . . .

crazyrightwingmom July 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Wasn’t there an error by the swearing in person….(who was that?)

Susan July 10, 2012 at 9:23 am

Heard John Roberts was so full of himself swearing a president in for the first time in his life, he thought he could do it without any note cards and he flubbed it. What a couple these two turned out to be…a fraud swearing in another fraud. Neither of them took their oaths to heart.

Lizzy July 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Rats that was my first thought he would have said it twice:)

cindylu July 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm

LOL! this is perfect

put into those quotes you can see how pathetic that phrase is

p.s. trying doesn’t count (or is that bully talk?)

JimK July 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm

John F. Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can try real hard for your country”

Mike July 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

“Try real hard or do not try real hard. There is no try.”


William July 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm

“Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; try real hard to prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we try real hard to hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore try real hard to erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all try real hard to act according to national customs.” — Charles Napier

Shofar July 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm


Love the obscure reference to Napier’s comment regarding Suttee. Well done.

William July 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm

“Try real hard to never give in. Try real hard. Try real hard, try real hard, try real hard, try real hard–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–try real hard to never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.” — Winston Churchill.

DeniseVB July 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Try real hard to give me liberty or give me death ~ Patrick Henry

Just2old July 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Benjamin Franklin. Trying real hard to ensure that any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.

Cymry July 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Oooh, I got a Franklin one!!

“Fish and visitors try real hard to stink after three days.”

QueenOfScott July 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I swear my dead cat, Truman, said today “I’s try hard to cheezeburger”.

Lizzy July 9, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Any man who wants to be President is either an egomaniac or crazy but I will
try real hard.
Dwight Eisenhower

QueenOfScott July 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Obama said, “My bung itches…George will you give me a scratch?” Soros said, “I’ll try real hard.”

ImNoDhimmi July 10, 2012 at 6:52 am

“If you can try real hard to keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you……….
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be trying real hard to be a Man, my son!”

(With apologies to Kipling.)

65andcounting July 10, 2012 at 7:32 am

Harvard educated and he says “real hard” not “really hard?” Show me his grades!

mo1 July 10, 2012 at 11:29 am

Apparently President Obama believes Amerians will not elect as president a person who is or appears to be better educated and better spoken than they are. Obviously, he does not agree with Richard Nixon’s observation that Americans elected John Kennedy president because Kennedy was viewed as what Americans wanted to be while Nixon was veiwed as what Americans were. The use of improper English also is part of President Obama’s lead from behind philosophy. Pursant to that philospohy he wil employ the language the least educated among us would use.

wild billy b July 10, 2012 at 7:42 am

I try real hard to forgive those who tresspass against me, then I shoot them!

Emily D. July 10, 2012 at 11:47 am

So in everything, try real hard to do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. ~ Jesus Christ

Stevie July 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I’ve tried real hard not to detest this man

Rob De Witt July 11, 2012 at 1:05 am

Very good.

I would wager, however, that you “pored” through the history books. “Pouring,” after all, is for liquids. Merely a nit, but worth picking.

Brian July 12, 2012 at 11:08 am

“Try real hard to not interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

- Abraham Lincoln

Brian July 12, 2012 at 11:09 am

“I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will try real hard to accept nothing less than full victory!”

- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Brian July 12, 2012 at 11:10 am

“No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war, by trying real hard to make the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!”

- Gen. George S. Patton

Kris October 5, 2012 at 12:56 am

“Try really hard, or don’t try really hard………there is no do.” – Yoda