A couple weeks back, Charlie Gibson asked John McCain this question during an interview: "On what three issues, principal issues, do you think this election will turn?"
McCain responded, "Reform, prosperity and peace."
Now those three words, uttered off-the-cuff, have become the official McCain campaign slogan.
"It struck a chord and really reflects everything that this race is about," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told Horserace.
The phrase can be found on McCain's Web site and in his new ad, and as Jonathan Martin notes, the presumptive GOP nominee utters it "most every day" on the campaign trail.
Adds Politico's Martin:
It's a small thing, but it captures nicely the difference between McCain's ad hoc style and the more command-and-control approach of Bushworld. It's difficult to imagine President Bush making up something on the fly and then having his campaign make it the centerpiece of the campaign. They likely would have hatched a carefully thought-out and tested message and then had the candidate deliver it. But McCain truly does speak for his own campaign, and when he comes up with a quick and nifty line they just go with it.