“We needed [the slogan] to be hollow and oxymoronic, to say absolutely nothing but seem to have depth and meaning,” Simon Blackwell, Veep‘s executive producer, told the Guardian. “It did make me laugh a lot when I saw that the Australian PM’s people had been on the same mental journey and come up with the same meaningless phrase.”

hbo veep campaign slogan
Image: HBO

“The aim is to have it sound snappy and confident, as if it makes sense,” Armando Iannucci, the show’s creator, told the Hollywood Reporter. “In fact, it means nothing. The two words cancel each other out.”

The show’s cast has reacted to Turnbull’s gaffe with a combination of bewilderment and gratitude:

Correction: An earlier version of this post referred to Malcolm Turnbull as Australia’s head of state. 

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