The tactic dates from the 1988 presidential campaign between George Bush and Michael Dukakis. Trailing badly in the polls in the final week, the aloof and unworldly Democratic candidate took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves to symbolise "getting down to business" and even "spoiling for a fight".
The media were mightily impressed, and wrote at length about this powerful subliminal message that he was "fighting back". The polls, however, didn't move and Dukakis lost heavily.
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