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kangaroo ticket

From Taegan Goddard’s political dictionary

By David Wildstein, April 18 2019 9:55 am

kangaroo ticket

A ticket for an election in which the lower position is occupied by a more attractive candidate than the higher position.

The Chicago Tribune defines it “a combination of nominees in which the running mate is more appealing than the presidential candidate (possibly coined to refer to a kangaroo’s propulsion from its hind legs, or to the weight it carries in its bottom half).”

The phrase originated during the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Democratic party leaders wanted a more experienced nomination.  As Salon notes, “The choice of John Nance Garner, Speaker of the House, for the second spot on the ticket exacerbated the problem. The popular Texan was much better known and more experienced than Roosevelt. One disappointed Texas colleague complained, ‘It’s a kangaroo ticket. Stronger in the hindquarters than in the front.’”

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