Everybody likes Ike

July 15th, 2004 § One comment

The Living Room Candidate is an archive of commercials for American presidential campaigns. The earliest ones, from the 1952 Eisenhower-Stevenson race, are especially entertaining. One proclaims Eisenhower to be “THE MAN FROM ABILENE!” using a voice and typeface better suited to a tights-wearing superhero. Another tries to position Ike as the people’s candidate:

Announcer: Eisenhower answers America!

Unconvincing actress portraying housewife: You know what things cost today. High prices are just driving me crazy.

Eisenhower (woodenly): Yes. My Mamie gets after me about the high cost of living. It’s another reason why I say izz (sic) time for a change. Time to get back to an honest dollar and an honest dollar’s worth.

Adlai Stevenson’s ads were worse. One of them is basically just a tight shot of a woman singing this jazzy little number, titled “I Love the Gov”:

I’d rather have a man with a hole in his shoe
Than a hole in everything he says
I’d rather have a man who knows what to do
When he gets to be the prez

I love the gov, the governor of Illinois
He is the gov that brings the dove of peace and joy
When Illinois the GOP double-crossed
He is the one who told all the crooks “Get lost!”

Adlai, love you madly
And what you did for your own great state
You’re gonna do for the rest of the 48

Didn’t know much about him before he came
But now my heart’s a ballot that bears his name

‘Cause I listened to what he had to say
I know that on Election Day
We’re gonna choose the gov that we love
He is the gov nobody can shove
We’ll make the gov the president of
The U, the me and the USA!

Yeah! Swing it!

One comment

  • Jeff says:

    Interestingly, the last “Eisenhower answers America” ad features an African-American actor playing a seemingly middle-class voter. Kind of unusual in 1952, I would think.
    I have no idea what’s going on in the “Ike…Bob” ad for Stevenson (the one with the two hearts).

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