About Campaign Limericks

Campaign Limericks is a set of data visualizations and a series of parties where participants remix presidential candidates' speeches into limericks. We call these "quantitative political poetry parties" or QPPPs.

At the QPPPs, we write limericks, talk politics, and share information. By remixing candidates' top words and phrases on the campaign trail we produce limericks about politics, campaigning and the political process that were never spoken outright (but maybe should have been). Mostly liberals have staged them and the left is currently winning the limerick war.

The best limericks have been realized as data visualizations in an exhibition space at the Harvard Center for American Political Studies for their Political Analytics Conference. The color corresponds to the candidate who most frequently spoke that word or phrase. The size of the term is the relative frequency of that word related to other words spoken on the campaign trail.

Anyone can stage a QPPP using our Limerick Party Pack, which you can download in the resources section at the bottom of this page. QPPP's have been staged in Boston, Hartford, and Ronald Reagan's former apartment in Des Moines, IO.

Campaign Limericks is project by Catherine D'Ignazio with the Institute for Infinitely Small Things.

  • How to read the limerick data visualizations
  • Limericks installed at the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard
  • Limericks installed at the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard
  • Limericks installed at the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard
  • Limericks installed at the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard
  • Writing lyrics at a recent QPPP (Quantitative Political Poetry Party)
  • Writing lyrics at a recent QPPP (Quantitative Political Poetry Party)
  • Writing lyrics at a recent QPPP (Quantitative Political Poetry Party)
  • Writing lyrics at a recent QPPP (Quantitative Political Poetry Party)
  • Writing lyrics at a recent QPPP (Quantitative Political Poetry Party)
  • Writing lyrics at a recent QPPP (Quantitative Political Poetry Party)

    The Campaign Limericks Party Pack includes everything you need to throw your own quantitative political poetry party! This PDF has all of the following items:

    • How To Host A Limerick Party: A guide that lays out exactly what you need logistically to run your QPPP

    • Example Limericks: A collection of limericks created for each political candidate to show your partygoers what is possible!

    • Political Candidate Issues and Platforms: A succinct list of each candidate's policies, platforms, and voting record.

    • Political Candidate Headshot Line-drawings: A line-drawn headshot of each political candidate.

    • A Brief History of Limericks Presentation: To present your partygoers with history of the form!

    Click the link below to download

  • Campaign Limericks Party Pack

Limericks are “closed form” poems that adhere to a strict template. The name’s genealogy is generally considered to be a reference to the city or county of Limerick, Ireland. The early nineteenth century brief songs were sung at convivial gatherings in the city of Limerick in Ireland. These verses dealt with with the adventures of inhabitants of various Irish towns, and the chorus extended the invitation: “Will you come up to Limerick?” Limericks often have bawdy, pornographic and vulgar subject matter which makes them perfect for contemporary American politics. Want to write your own? Follow these guidelines:

  1. The last word in lines 1, 2, and 5 must rhyme and contain 8-9 syllables each.
  2. The last word in lines 3 and 4 must rhyme and contain 5-6 syllables each.

Limericks created by participants at the Real Art Ways event

Hillary, the presumptive candidate
Decreed by media mandate
Some say we deserve her
And her infamous server
She’s better than Trump at any rate

It looks like it’s Clinton and Trump
It’s painful to hear them both stump
And when the dust clears
After four to eight years
The United States will be a dump

With Hillary Clinton, we’re smitten
Watch the republicans get their digs in
This race is a farce
Tearing the country apart
Bring on the next class of politician

Cruz is skeezy as fuck
But his campaign is flat out of luck
Since Trump came to town
He’s the top clown
And Cruz is just a cheap schmuck

How ‘bout this Hillary Clinton
Friends with Sachs and Lehman on Linkedin
She voted to bail
Plus there’s all that e-mail
It sounds like she really just pimpin’

Hey Hillary go kick some ass!
Though you won’t legalize grass
They’ll label you pushy
Just cuz you have a pussy
Just remember the middle class

There once was a guy named Cruz
Who didn’t believe he could lose
He has no wit
So he says crazy shit
To show up on the evening news

Hillary’s been known to pander
Her husband tends to philander
But on this journey
I’m going with Bernie
My vote’s on the ballot marked “Sanders”

It’s hard to say which to choose
Whether Trump, or Kasich, or Cruz
It’s not automatic
They’re all problematic
I just wish that they all could lose

Hillary Clinton sucks the big one
If you don’t know it playa son
She shields her hatred
Just like her boo did
The corrupt is with who they run

Trumpty Dumpty will build a big wall
From this wall, poor trumpty will fall
But he screams in debates
That he’ll make ‘merica great
So let’s vote for him after all

Trump’s a man against immigration
Loved by racists across the nation
Has an immigrant wife
(Is this real life?!?!)
How will SHE avoid deportation?

Bernie, I want you to be real
But something makes me feel
You’re too good to be true
And we don’t deserve you
And the fat pigs will squeal

I fear for this country’s direction
All candidates for this election
Are each a curse
And keep getting worse
I object to any selection

So we wouldn’t think it small
He led us to believe it quite tall
Perhaps it is true
It goes down to his shoe
Or perhaps there is nothing at all

Limericks created by participants at our Engagement Lab launch event

There once was a man with small hands,
Whose visions were awfully grand,
He behaved like a jerk,
Voters went berzerk,
And that's how we invaded Iran

Planned parenthood wants to kill and sell your son,
Stick with me and Obama won’t take your gun,
The United States wants a real thriller,
The American people trust the zodiac killer,
Vote president Cruz for real American fun

Obama is after your guns,
Planned parenthood shouldn’t get funds,
Islamic terror,
Is Obama’s error,
Keep guys away from our sons

The Brooklynite up for president,
Will avenge the ninety nine percent,
Beware to the billionaire,
We’re keeping Obama Care,
The middle class we’re going to augment

ISIS! Crisis! Hatred and fear,
No need to worry, Ted Cruz is here,
My credentials – Impeccable,
Experience? Negligible,
He’s Canadian – don’t shed a tear

The man who hated planned parenthood,
Thought revoke women’s rights we should,
So full of vanity,
His win, a calamity,
But luckily it’s a real unlikelihood

People of the United States,
I have a problem with how Obama administrates,
Defund Planned Parenthood,
Because it does no good,
And sell fetuses in small crates

A vile republican bigot,
Had a mouth like a big sausage spigot,
Which one are you thinkin?
They’re all of them stinkin
Every last one of them. Trig it!

We’re running the United States,
People – It’s gonna be great!
We will start winning,
My hair will stop thinning,
Elect me before it’s too late

The dragon that now can slay,
Has republicans in dismay,
Their reverence for Ronald,
Won’t take out Donald,
He is not going away

A gentleman suitor named Don Jon,
Loves conjuring images of Ron-Ron,
Reagan thins in his grave,
Insists Trump behaves,
And Donald has nothing to stump on

Out there is a man that hates Mexicans,
Muslims, Russians + Africans,
Perhaps he might see,
In world without theses,
There’s no one left but Republicans

It’s ten when that is not far back then,
Trump wants to save the Republicans,
Party, which used to be a smarty,
That know had a crisis now that president Bush is gone,
Trump wants a wall ten miles taller that wasn’t long back then

Building a wall 10 miles tall,
With a single door in all,
What for? A single door?
To deport Mexicans, Muslims and more,
God bless us again. God bless us all

There was a canuck with a J.D.
Whose list of dislikes was quite lengthy,
He’ll limit your rights,
And outlaw men in tights,
Banning taxes and Islam entirely

Republicrats Republicrats,
Republicrats not valid kratts!
You love bombs, spin and people,
Occasional paroop, prayer and steeple,
But as an immigrant I say get undone like Frey

There was an old man, and Republican,
Who found to his shock, a power vaccum,
With an “I’m great”, he jumped in,
Threw out everyone unlike him,
Saying he would make America great again

There once was a hair wig from Queens,
Whose money pile wasn’t small beans,
He wanted a wall,
He couldn’t be small,
But we all know it’s click (dick) size, he means

The GOPs coming up Trumps,
It gives me a case that mumps,
His bluster and bitching,
It gets me itching,
Who does he think we are? Chumps

Trump’s fantasy’s building a wall,
To keep out the Mexicans – all,
But who’s gonna build it?
And will it be gilded?
And will it be fifty feet tall?

There once was a man from crass-tucket,
Who got rich being willing to huck – it,
His hands may be small,
But his bite is tall,
And to immigrants, he says “You can suck it”

It’s nice to have some say,
On the outcome of my toupee,
If I win the election,
I’ll have an erection,
And get a new hairpiece that day

Young Raphael covets the crown,
But his face has permanent frown,
He brags of his morals,
Yet picks many quarrels,
Let’s run his ass out of town

Hillary - Billary Bappity Boo,
Sings out loud but can’t carry a tune,
She’s done this before,
Like, score + your,
But still can’t warm up a room

There was an email mistaker,
Who, back then, was not a cookie baker,
She’s focused on wages,
Not putting men in cages,
She wants all kids to be graduators

Hillary’s chasing the White House,
Millenial’s sputter and grouse,
They’d rather choose sanders,
Say Hillary panders,
And don’t like her husband that louse!

There once was a fiery socialist,
Who’s words made the rich bankers pissed,
These capitalist bastards,
Those schemers! Those dastards!
Shall we give the finger or fist?

Feelin’ the Bern, oh, Bernie McBean,
Unrealistic as we’ve sadly seen,
Though your aim is true,
You’ll push through,
Flashback to the same DC scene

People of the United States, dearly,
I promise to get things done, really,
I’m lifetime pro-choice,
In this major country on earth,
If I win, I’ll listen to Mr. Completely

The youth vote is feelin the Bern,
Their elders say, “When will they learn?”
The kids say, “You’re sold out”,
And we’re gonna hold out,
The country will take a left turn

I’ve had it! My Limericks are junk,
This whole election is bunk,
Though I’ve had a blast,
This season shall pass,
Back to Congressional funk

When the dust clears, we’ll have a new president,
The White House will have a new resident,
But who will it be,
Will it be he or she?
I can’t tell you because I’m not president

Des Moines party

Trump hates all the Chinese-me widgets,
An insists that none of him's midget,
Though he acted a prick,
Saying the size of his dick,
Had nothing to do with his digits.

Republicans are blocking the SCOTUS,
Because of the incoming POTUS,
Though they'd better take care,
For when Clinton is there,
She'll nominate the current FLOTUS.

Many have feared Trump's ascension,
But the establishment would rather not mention,
Trump won't have much fun,
When Paul Ryan's the one,
Who Republicans pick at convention.

For most of the race,
Cruz held second place,
Though it's probably true,
It'd be easier to do,
With a slightly more likable face.

For being a conservative pillar,
Cruz made the contest quite the thriller,
He's stayed in the race,
And held second place...
Not bad for the Zodiac Killer.

Trump he once thought he'd be president,
To confirm a judge he was hesitant,
But the voters did speak,
and thought him a freak,
And ensured that he not be white house resident

There once was a billionaire,
Who shilled Trump Steaks with such flair,
That all that it took,
to fire his cook,
Was grilling the jerk's meat too rare

There was an unlikable Texan,
Who overthought balance and checks an'
Engaged in obstruction,
To his own destruction,
And cost his whole party the election

One day died a justice of SCOTUS,
Funeral boycotted by POTUS,
In the Oval room chair,
He removed all his hair,
To prepare for a romp with the FLOTUS

There once was a bully on the precipice,
Of stealing the election from his nemesis,
He needed support,
And issued a report,
To court the vote of a white supremacist

Trump's a man, who can be quite haughty,
And his mouth can be found in the potty.
But have no derision,
For the public's decision,
Is negated by Illuminati.

The Sanders campaign needed Hail Marys
To prove no sexism in primaries,
So they asked Killer Mike,
To explain to a dyke,
Not to vote just 'cause you share ovaries.

After becoming POTUS,
The will of an iron ex-FLOTUS,
Musters the spleen,
To do the obscene,
And appoint Obama to SCOTUS

I feel for Rubio's daughter,
That daddy's campaign wasn't hotter.
The poor Florida resident,
He just might have been president,
If he thirsted for more than just water.

The frontrunner's campaign was reeling,
But never did she lose the feeling,
The former first lady,
Would complete the task weighty,
And finally break the glass ceiling

There once was a governor without note,
About whom no reporters wrote,
He had no momentum,
And earned no attention,
'Til "oops, Glass-Steagal was my first vote"

The Grand Ol' Party had,
But the Reagan economics were spent,
Thrashed by yuuuuuge gaffs,
And angry voter's wrath,
Quietly ino the dark night the establishment went

There was a Midwestern gent,
Who smiled everywhere that he went,
"Join me from the kitchen!”
Had all the women bitchin',
And his candidacy made nary a dent

The GOP finance committee,
On the wealthy they took such a pity,
They were losing the war,
Of winning over the poor,
While attached to the fundraising titty

In the event of a Donald Trump win,
The whole globe will go down the bin,
While exaggerating his girth,
He’ll blow up the earth,
I'd better invest in some gin.

There once was a senator named Bernie,
Who embarked on a firebrand journey,
His supporters made noise,
In front of Trump's boys,
And left the event in a gurney

There was an Irishman named O'Malley,
Wow, his fundraising hit a valley,
He could play guitar,
And drink beer in a shitty bar,
But man, he got whipped by the final tally

Campaign Limericks News

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