Watch Sixty Years of Nasty Presidential Campaign Attack Ads

Sixty Years of Nasty Presidential Campaign Attack Ads

Many political commentators speculated that once Mitt Romney put Paul Ryan on his ticket, the campaign would become one about two competing visions for the country, finally a campaign about substance. But just days later, the 2012 presidential campaign is already turning into what many commentators say is one of the nastiest and most personal campaigns in modern times, with one side accusing the other of coming “unhinged,” while the other invokes charges of anger and hate.

However, going negative is nothing new, as this montage of 22 presidential campaign ads, from Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson through Romney and Obama, clearly demonstrates. Thanks to a retrospective from the Museum of the Moving Image, which compiled dozens of presidential campaign spots from 1952 through 2008, viewers can dive deep into the fascinating history of a unique brand of television advertising. This montage represents the breadth of strategies and styles over six decades of presidential political wars in the media.

Sixty Years of Nasty Presidential Campaign Attack Ads

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Live-Blogging 2008 Democratic Convention: Obama Wins Historic Presidential Nomination

Barack Obama Wins Historic Presidential Nomination

On Wednesday afternoon, Senator Barack Obama was officially named the Presidential Nominee of the Democratic Party, crowning his historic meteoric rise from a little-known Illinois state senator to becoming the first African-American ever to win a major-party’s presidential nomination.

Initially, there had been an element of dramatic suspense about just how the nomination process actually would unfold. However, before the roll call was taken Senator Clinton had released her delegates to vote for Mr. Obama and announced that she was voting for Obama and his running mate, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware. The roll call proceeded alphabetically, and when New Mexico’s turn came, it yielded the floor to the state of Illinois, Obama’s home state; Illinois, in turn, ceded its position to New York.

At the urging of Senator Clinton, the New York delegation cast all of its votes for Senator Obama, and at 4:48 p.m. local time, Clinton made a motion to end the roll call and to nominate Barack Obama by acclamation. Her motion was passed unanimously by the convention delegates; Nancy Pelosi, Permanent Chair of the Democratic National Convention, then named Barack Obama the official Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

On Thursday night, the National Democratic Convention is moving to Invesco Field so that more Americans can take part in of the fourth night of the Convention, where Barack Obama will accept the Democratic nomination for President. Invesco Field’s doors will open at around 5:00 p.m. (local time), and the event will end at 9:00 p.m. (local time). A crowd that is now estimated to be larger than 80,000 people is expected to attend the final convention assembly to hear Obama’s acceptance speech.

A number of acclaimed musicians are scheduled to perform during the event. Sheryl Crow, Stevie Wonder and Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas will be performing. Jon Bon Jovi is flying in to perform two acoustic songs before Sen. Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech, and the Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson (from Chicago) will sing the National Anthem near speech time. After Obama’s acceptance speech, Bruce Springsteen will perform to close out the evening.

Al Gore is scheduled to be the first speaker of the evening. Then at 8:00 p.m. (local time) Senator Richard Durbin from Illinois will present a biographical video of Obama, directed by Davis Guggenheim, the Oscar-winning director of An Inconvenient Truth and afterwards Durbin will introduce Senator Obama.

Obama’s acceptance speech is being held on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. It was on August 28th, 1963, that King, the most revered civil rights leader in the nation’s history, proclaimed on the steps of Washington’s Lincoln Memorial: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ “

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Marking a Historic Day: Yes We Can

Live-Blogging: Obama Wins Presidential Nomination

Barack Obama Wins the Democratic Presidential Nomination

Music Audio: The O’Jays/Love Train

Obama Wins Historic Presidential Nomination

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Live-Blogging Day-Two of the 2008 DNC: The Hillary Kerfuffle

Live-Blogging Day-Two of the 2008 DNC: The Hillary Kerfuffle

Comments On Michelle Obama’s Speech Last Night: So That’s What Brave Looks Like….

A reader wrote to Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic Magazine:

“I am a 36 year old African American woman. I have two girls ages 10 and 8. The country does not get the full import of this moment. My daughters and I sat together along with my husband to watch Michelle Obama tonight. Mr. Sullivan, we were all in tears. This is a day that cannot be fully described. This country has systematically oppressed Black women for centuries. My ancestors were slaves and my great, great, great, grandmothers raped and treated as property. My daughters have very few Black women to look up to in popular culture as role models. They do not feel seen, they are not held up as the standards of American beauty. We shed tears tonight as a family because Michelle (with her elegance and grace) is holding all of us up with her. You don’t understand the burden that she bears.”

And Dahlia Lithwick wrote in Salon:

“I loved best about Michelle Obama’s speech tonight was that it was fearless, but in a very different way from the fearlessness modeled by Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. Here is a woman with a degree from Harvard Law School, who could have talked about law and policy and poverty, and yet she talked about her kids, her husband, and her family. And she didn’t do that merely to show us that smart women are soft and cuddly on the inside. She did what everyone else in this campaign is terrified to do: She risked looking sappy and credulous and optimistic when almost everyone has abandoned “hope” and “change” for coughing up hairballs of outrage. Every Democrat in America seems to be of the view that optimism is so totally last February; that now’s the time to hunker down and panic real hard. Good for Michelle for reminding us that to “strive for the world as it should be” is still cool, and for being so passionate about that fact that she looked to be near tears. Good for her for speaking from the heart when everyone else seems to be speaking from the root cellar. And if that doesn’t persuade you the woman is a warrior, let me just add that true bravery is letting your 7-year-old turn the first night of the Democratic Convention into open-mic night with the big screen and the party frock. Think any man alive would have done that? Me neither.”

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Celebrity Music Video: Yes We Can

Live-Blogging Day-Two of the 2008 DNC: The Hillary Kerfuffle

Hillary Clinton: To Damn Obama with Faint Praise

The Clintons are masters in the dramatic art of pointing at themselves and saying “attention must be paid to us!” Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton put on a good show of supporting Obama, but it was expressed as having been left with little recourse but to convey support for him, or else having to deal with something even worse, McCain and the Republicans. Watching her gave me the freaky chills, made feel glad that I’m still free enough from any obsession with the Clintons to still be able to peek under their rocks and see what kind of bugs are creeping around underneath.

In Hillary’s speech at the Democratic Convention on Tuesday night, she gave the appearance of momentarily overcoming the narcissistic conviction of personal and political entitlement that has been a long-time congenital characteristic of both Clintons. Feigning to say the right things, Clinton made an “intellectual” case for supporting Obama. Strategically aware that her own short-term political future is inextricably bound to his, she explained in somewhat clinical terms why she supports him, and indicated to her diehard supporters that they should also do so (for the time being).

But Clinton obviously still wants to be president. Hillary’s speech hardly concealed the clear subtext that it is really she who should be giving the major convention speech on Thursday night. Clinton’s performance on the podium Tuesday evening was a calculated theatrical work that directed America to look at what has been lost by her not being the Democratic nominee.

Further, it continues to be clear that Hillary obviously doesn’t like Barack Obama, and that she’s plainly not eager about the prospect of him being elected president. After all the time that she spent during her speech tracing the course of women’s suffrage and talking about what a world-historical figure she was, she failed to make any mention about Obama being a similarly important figure of history.

As a plausible, but much less noteworthy approach, she might have attempted to say something, just anything, about a specifically admirable individual characteristic that Obama might display. Even here, Clinton’s reservations were obvious. While she had open personal praise for Joe Biden and John McCain, she could not bring herself to say anything positive about Obama as a person.

The reasons that Hillary gave for supporting Obama were all ways of saying that Obama is a Democrat. She managed to say some nice “words” about Obama in her speech (she was proud to support him), but subsequently she immediately launched into a litany of the many important issues for which she’d fought and sang out with a paean to all the people who had placed their faith in her.

In the end, it came down to being all about her.

Hillary Clinton: Well, It’s Mostly About Me

Music Audio: Josh Groban/You Lift Me Up


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Hillary: “I Don’t Accept!”

From Ezra Klein at The American Spectator

In the first episode of the BBC comedy Coupling, Steve decides he’s going to break up with his partner Jane. He steels up his courage, strides over to her, and makes his pitch. “I’m going to put this very simply. It’s over between us,” he says. She looks at him quizzically. “You want us to split up?” she asks. “Yes,” replies Steve. “Yes I do.” She looks at him sweetly. “I don’t accept.”

[Last night] the Democratic Party essentially told Clinton that it was over. Obama crossed the magic delegate threshold and captured, for all intents and purposes, the nomination. Clinton had run a remarkable race, and come inches from securing the nomination, but she had lost. And then, Clinton took the stage in New York, and said, in effect, “I don’t accept.”

Coupling: “I Don’t Accept.”

Clinton’s speech was a curious spectacle. It’s not merely that she didn’t concede, but that she didn’t even mention that anything had changed. She congratulated Obama on his campaign, but not on his win, or even his likely win. It wasn’t merely that she didn’t concede, but that she didn’t stop running, didn’t stop attacking.

She admitted that the next few days would require thought as to the path forward, but used that as an opening to plug her web site, where supporters could weigh in on the path she should choose. And on her web site, the button to submit your message of support sits next to an even larger button asking you to contribute…. If you decide not to contribute, and try to simply leave a message, you’re taken to another page where, again, you’re asked to contribute. In truth, it is the contribution that Clinton is asking for, not the support. And those donations will not go towards her campaign for the nomination, which cannot be revived by more money. Rather, those donations will go towards retiring her millions in campaign debt. And, in a way, it explain why Hillary refuses to drop out.

So long as she remains in the race, she has leverage. She has reporters who will cover her statements…..She has the chance, no matter how slim, that lightning will strike, or scandal will hit, or tragedy will fall, and Obama’s campaign will unexpectedly fold in upon itself and she will step forward as the nominee. It is not so much that she doesn’t realize it’s over as that she sees no upside in admitting the end. She understands, she just doesn’t accept.”

Read Ezra Klein’s complete article in The American Spectator here.

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Hillary: Man the Lifeboats, I Shall Continue to Move Forward!!

Man the Lifeboats, I Shall Continue Moving Forward!!

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Dr. Phil Reportedly Named a Top Hillary Campaign Adviser

Yes indeedy, allegedly well-placed Washington sources are whispering rumors that the infamous, publicity mongering Dr.Phil has just been named to a top advisory position in Hillary Clinton’s political campaign. He’ll join the likes of Ragin’ Bill Clinton, Howard “Hoodwink ‘Em” Wolfson, Magpie Williams, and Mark “I Run This Show” Penn in helping to determine our political destiny during the next few weeks.

And just coincidentally, it’s ratings sweeps time again in television land!! Since Dr. Phil can’t exploit Britney Spears again right now (since her own family is doing a good job of that) or the teenage girl accused of being the ringleader of a high school smackdown, Dr. Phil has turned to ripping off a sick, but popular popular reality show: The Moment of Truth. it’s been exposed how the good non-doc’s using a polygraph, a child molestation victim, and fancy graphics all in the name of ratings. It’s being rumored that Hillary might make a special appearance as one of the very first guests on Dr. Phil’s version of Moment of Truth, just to prove that all of her notorious “misspokens” were actually true!!

Dr. Phil’s Moment of Truth

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Obama Loses in Pennsylvania: Still Almost Impossible to Defeat

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania voters chose between two bruised candidates after a grueling and nasty election fight. Hillary Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary vote as expected, claiming a 10-point victory over Barack Obama. With more than 80 percent of the electoral precincts reporting, Hillary had 55 percent of the vote to Obama’s 45 percent.

Nevertheless, Clinton still faces major challenges going forward: her campaign is essentially out of money, with unpaid bills piling up, and she faces growing frustration among some Democratic officials who would prefer her to end her campaign in recognition of Mr. Obama’s lead in the overall popular vote of the primaries and caucuses so far, as well as his continuing edge toward amassing the 2,025 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

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Obama Campaigns in Pennsylvania on the Final Day

In Evansville, after his Pennsylvania concession to Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner told supporters that he was able to narrow the gap in Pennsylvania, register a record number of voters and rally people of all backgrounds to his campaign. After the bruising Pennsylvania contest, Obama said bickering and tit-for-tat politics obscured the great issues of the day: two wars, a recession and a planet in peril. Watch the speech:

Obama’s Speech in Evansville, Indiana

NBC’s Chuck Todd pointed out last night that Clinton’s chances of winning the nomination based on pledged delegates is effectively over. If Obama keeps his pledged delegate lead to around 150, Clinton needs to win 70% of them on May 6 and, if not, 80% of them after May 6. That’s more than next to impossible.

NBC Report: Clinton’s Winning is Next to Impossible

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