Campaign Speech by Al Smith

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"No Matter How Thin You Slice It, It's Still Boloney"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Though defeated in his campaign for the presidency of the United States in 1928, Al Smith, the "Happy Warrior," was one of the most popular politicians of his time. Four times governor of New York, he was a leading Democratic figure because he could talk to the people in their own language. His speeches were noted for their sense of the comic and their avoidance of the heavy and the stilted, and he tossed off phrases to be recalled later without association with the occasions that produced them. "Bunk" and "Boloney" were favorite words. Called on one day to help with the laying of the cornerstone of the New York State Office Building, he looked at the trowel handed to him and commented: "Nothing doing. That's just boloney. Everyone knows I can't lay bricks." And asked during a campaign about the New Deal, he implied that he wanted nothing to do with any part of it, in this figurative phrase:

No matter how thin you slice it, it's still boloney