Sign of the Times: A Telling Part of the Campaign Story

September 21, 2011
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We are in the middle of a major mayoral election and for the city council and school committee, too. So it is entirely natural that a proliferation of signs is popping up throughout the city.

Every major avenue and corner, every important billboard and every front lawn of a home that can be attached to a political sign now has one carefully planted and displaying the name of a favored politician.

For the most part, we would expect that those who are asked to place a sign on their lawn, on their home, or a sticker on their automobile are doing so as a positive show of loyalty to the person who has the name being displayed.

But this is not always the case.

Political insiders and longtime followers of political campaigns enjoy repeating out loud the ages old adage: “Signs don’t vote.”

Indeed. Signs do not vote but they are certainly an indication of popularity or are they?

There have been elections when the person displaying the largest number of signs comes up on the short end of the stick. And there have been elections when the person displaying the fewest number of signs wins.

Another ages old adage relates to the signs don’t vote bit is this: “A business without a sign is a sign of no business.”

A candidate without many signs is more often than not considered a candidate without a campaign.

Many who allow signs to be placed on their lawns cannot be depended on for their loyalty or their vote on Election Day.

On Election Day it is not who put up a sign for you, rather, it is who came out to vote for you.

The signs don’t vote but they certainly tell a story. Just which story that is this year remains to be seen.

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