Below is an ad for Richard Nixon in his campaign for President in 1968. He was making a comeback of sorts that year as he had lost in a previous bid in 1960 for President and in 1962 for Governor of California. The content of the ad is designed to make you draw conclusions about the country’s Vietnam policy under President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson, a Democrat, decided ultimately to not run for re-election. His Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey ran instead. Humphrey lost and Nixon went on to getting re-elected in 1972 as well.
Based on its visuals, could an ad like this be run today?
Perhaps one of the most famous negative Presidential campaign ads came from 1964. It was run by the campaign of President Lyndon Johnson (D). His opponent was Republican Barry Goldwater. Johnson won the election in a landslide. This commercial, called the “Daisy” ad, aired only once as it was deemed to be too extreme at that time. The voice you hear in the middle of the ad is that of President Johnson. What is more important though is what is being “said” about Barry Goldwater.
What is being said about Barry Goldwater in this ad?
This piece of Presidential memorabilia was from the 1964 campaign of Republican nominee, Barry Goldwater. Goldwater lost the election to President Lyndon Johnson in a landslide. However, Goldwater’s candidacy shifted the Republican Party to the conservative right. Your thoughts on the slogan/bumper sticker?
Lyndon Johnson was the 36th President of the United States. He served from 1963-1969. Above is a clip from a speech he made right before he told the American people that he would seek nor accept another nomination for President of the United States. Listen to the Johnson’s words. Do the words used back in 1968 still hold true in the United States today?
It isn’t very often where a political ad that is only run once gets more notoriety than an ad that is run over and over for all the public to see. That is the case with this political commercial, which is called the “Daisy Ad“. The ad’s content in 1964 was deemed to be too extreme and it was only shown once during the Presidential campaign of that year. The ad, which supported Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, painted the Republican opponent, Barry Goldwater as an extremist.
What is important to note is that the ad is effective because of what is said/seen and what is not said/seen. What do you see/hear or NOT see/hear in the ad that, in your opinion, makes the ad effective? (By the way, the voice that you hear before the closing narration of the ad is President Johnson.)
What is the purpose of this ad from 1964? Have political ads changed in any way since then?
There are 538 available Electoral College votes in this year’s Presidential election. That total has remained the same since 1964. Below are the Electoral vote totals for each Presidential election since 1964.
1964: Lyndon Johnson (D) 486, Barry Goldwater (R) 52
1968: Richard Nixon (R) 301, Hubert Humphrey (D) 197, George Wallace (I) 40
1972: Nixon (R) 520, George McGovern (D) 17, John Hospers (L) 1
1976: Jimmy Carter (D) 297, Gerald Ford (R) 240
1980: Ronald Reagan (R) 489, Carter (D) 49
1984: Reagan (R) 525, Walter Mondale (D) 13
1988: George H.W. Bush (R) 429, Michael Dukakis (D) 112
1992: Bill Clinton (D) 370, Bush (R) 168
1996: Clinton (D) 387, Bob Dole (R) 151
2000: George W. Bush (R) 271, Al Gore (D) 266
2004: Bush (R) 286, John Kerry (D) 251
2008: Barack Obama (D) 365, John McCain (R) 173
What do you think this year’s Electoral vote total will be for the 2012 Presidential Election?
Tagged Al Gore, Barry Goldwater, Bob Dole, Democrat, Electoral College, George HW Bush, George McGovern, George Wallace, Gerald Ford, Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter, John Hospers, Lyndon Johnson, Michael Dukakis, Republican, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Voting, Walter Mondale
Former Democratic United States Senator George McGovern died early Sunday morning, October 21, 2012. He was 90. He leaves a legacy of being a champion of liberal causes in the United States. McGovern is also remembered for losing to Richard Nixon in the 1972 Presidential election by a landslide. He tried again in 1984, but was beaten in the primaries that year. What George McGovern should be remembered for, however, is his role in how we nominate our Presidential nomination process.
In 1968, the Democratic Party nomination for President was in disarray. Senator Robert Kennedy, the likely nominee of the party, had been assassinated after the California primary. The candidate with the most delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago was Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota. Having the most delegates gave McCarthy the inside track to the nomination. McCarthy was deemed to be too much of a “peace candidate” for President by the Democratic establishment. So much so, that party leaders including President Lyndon Johnson and Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley took liberties with the delegate selection process and worked to nominate Vice President Hubert Humphrey for President. Humphrey did not compete in any primaries. After an arduous primary season, Democratic voters had been shut out essentially in the Presidential nomination process.
This is where George McGovern comes in. He, and Minnesota Representative Donald Fraser, headed a commission that would streamline the nomination process so that voters would have a direct say on who their nominee for President would be. The McGovern-Fraser Commission, as it was informally called, was charged in part with making sure that party leaders would not work behind closed doors to manipulate the nomination process.
National party convention delegates were to be chosen through direct primary elections. Previously to the Commission, primary results were binding in some states and non-binding in others. In those states with binding results, the number of delegates sent to the national convention was known by the public. In those states with non-binding primaries, the primary looked more like a beauty contest. In those cases, the delegate selection process was more likely to be determined by party leaders and not the voters. In some states, delegates were chosen in state conventions. Convention attendees tended to favor party leader-backed candidates. Outsider or anti-establishment candidates for President (or any office) had little chance of gaining their party’s nomination.
McGovern-Fraser created uniformity in the delegate selection process. Party leaders now had less of say in the selection of a Presidential nominee. Primaries have been the deciding factor in the nominating process since McGovern-Fraser. McGovern was the first to benefit from the change in the rules, as he became the Democratic Party’s nominee for President in 1972.
Not since 1968 has either party had a contested nomination for President. It is highly unlikely that the major parties will have another convention like the one in Chicago where party leaders ignored the will of people and selected a candidate for President who did not run in one single primary. George McGovern made the process simpler and gave the public its rightful say in selecting its Presidential nominees. For that, George McGovern should be remembered.
You can follow the link below for a 1972 campaign ad for George McGovern.
George McGovern Voting Booth Ad
What are your thoughts on the McGovern’s legacy? What are your thoughts on the McGovern ad?
Posted in 1972, Elections, Primaries
Tagged 1972, Ads, Delegates, Democratic Party, Donald Fraser, Elections, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Liberal, Lyndon Johnson, McGovern-Fraser Commission, Nominating Conventions, Politics, Presidency, Primaries, Richard J. Daley, Richard Nixon, Robert Kennedy