I’ve written extensively about the highly-scientific HOAG concept, which I will claim to have invented if Bob Chant lets me.
From my book Fight The Right, which wrote about the then-coming Trumpocalypse:
That is, Bush was a Hell Of A Guy. As the political cliché goes, you can picture yourself at a tailgate party with Dubya, swigging Buds, telling lies about the ones that got away. With John Kerry or Al Gore, you just can’t. Eating quiche and sipping spritzers at a rich debutante’s coming-out party at Harvard, maybe. But are they HOAGs? Nope.
This is not to suggest that Liberals are incapable of HOAGism. Chretien was eating at Tim Horton’s long before focus groups persuaded Stephen Harper to do likewise. Bill Clinton, too, was always a HOAG. Watching him hoover a Big Mac, you wouldn’t have ever guessed he was once a Rhodes Scholar. But Bush – despite being the son of a New England multimillionaire, despite his pricey Yale education and his connections to American aristocracy – was a true-blue HOAG. He was the ultimate HOAG, in fact. He made his inability to string a few words together work for him. Moreover, when he talked about “values” – which, Google informs us, he did literally hundreds of times during his presidency – he could light up a conservative audience like a Christmas tree.
He was up-front about it, too. In one of his campaign ads in the summer of 2000, Bush said this: “This is a moment in history when we have a chance to focus on tough problems. It’s not always popular to say…we have a deficit in values. But those are the right things to say. And the right way to make America better for everyone is to be bold and decisive, to unite instead of divide. Now is the time to do the hard things.” On values and morality plays, Bush made his HOAGism work for him. And when Bush’s presidency came to its constitutionally mandated end, as he defiantly told a crowd at the inauguration of the George W. Bush Presidential Centre, “I came home to Texas with my values intact.”
And that, I think, is why we effete lefties couldn’t stop watching him as he peddled his book hither and yon: on values, he spoke to our suppressed inner HOAGs.
Now, here’s me and Charles: