“Nailing jello to the wall” searchers: You can be a Jello Head, too!

If nothing else, John McCain’s been good for traffic. My blog traffic, that is! As soon as he said that understanding Barack Obama’s tax plan was “like nailing jello to the wall,” people all over the world filled up the many tubes that make up teh internets and searched. Over 450 ended up here the day after the debate, and that, “my friends,” is a record!

Most of you were probably searching for McCain’s actual quote, but others seemed unclear what the phrase meant, so here’s my explanation: I first heard the expression when I was working for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. I was in the Publishing group, and every year the we put out a report called “The State of Small Business.” Ah, yes, good times good times.  I was mostly a copy editor and glorified proofreader on that publication, but sometimes I got to pick the color for the cover, too.  Anyway, the approval process for the report was grueling. (It was also the first time I came to a clear understanding of the word “iteration.” There were many iterations of that report.)

This was back in the day of Bush the Elder, and the report had to be approved by the White House. So up it went. Back it came. Up it went. Back it came. The thing was, we never knew what revisions they would ask for next. Finally the senior editor threw her hands in the air one day and said: It’s like nailing jello to the wall!

Well, people got on teh internets and used teh google and looked for “what does nailing jello on the wall mean” and hundreds of variations of that phrase. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

  • the cost of jello in 2008
  • jello trying to stick to the wall
  • mccain jello walls
  • what does mccain have against jello
  • mccain nailing jello to wall
  • jello on the wall, russia, obama
  • debate jello obama
  • presidential debate jello

And meanwhile, people are also interested that:

  • sarah palin worked in a cannery

And I would like to know this one, too:

  • sarah palin senior thesis

If you’re new here at The House of Jello, I’ll hope you’ll stick around. It’s the best gelatinous blog around!



  1. What wonderful and loyal group we have! It’s so nice to finally get some national recognition! 😉

    Last night, I even heard it again on the Bill Moyer’s NOW show!

    They love us! They really, really love us!

  2. As soon as McCain uttered those words, I said to the cat who was brave enough to hang out with me during the debate “Hey! Sue J is going to get some visitors from that one!”

    The cat agreed.


    Another loyal Jellohead (can we make my jello head black cherry? It’s my favorite.)

  3. Oh gee willikers. I wonder how I can get the old prune to mention ” just like a feather adrift” ? I love it. The way people end up at a blog is truly bizarre isn’t it?

  4. DCup — I was watching it with my parents, who don’t really get the whole “blog” thingy. So when he uttered those words I was all “He just — that’s my — Oh… never mind.”

    Sherry — It could happen!

  5. And here I thought it was McCain’s own folksy little idiom. I suppose you’re also going to tell me that “steady hand on the tiller” also isn’t original?

    Anyway, another Googleite happy to make your acquaintance!

  6. Lisa V, glad you found us! And glad I could clear up that John McCain did NOT come up with this phrase!

    If “steady hand on the tiller” isn’t a blog name, somebody should take it!

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