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Political Ads Didn't Always Blow Goats
The thing I hate most about campaign season (2 years of nonstop campaigning for President, now brought to you by unbridled ambition and campaign finance "reform"!) is the goddamn endless stupid commercials. I don't give a flying fuck if the candidates want me to have a Merry Christmas, I don't care about their supposed minute differences, and I don't care they they approved their messages. The election's still 11 months away and I pretty much only watch obscure cable channels now to avoid the relentless advertising. Remember, though, when Presidential campaign ads were, like, effective (or, ineffective but still pretty good). Yeah, I'm too young, too, but we've got a Top 10 list for you anyway, after the jump.
10. Kennedy Craps on Nixon
Kennedy's attack ad uses footage of Eisenhower calling him an idiot to make him look like, well, an idiot. How soon we forgot, though. It's also one of the first really attack ads. Yay attack ads!
9. Jimmy Carter Says Everything Sucks
Unfortunately, it didn't work so well when he ran it again in 1980.
8. Mondale Nukes Kids
In a blatant ripoff of Johnson's more famous (and more effective) Daisies commercial, they intersperse shots of completely stoned children and nukes while a cheezy folk song.
7. The Gipper's "Morning in America"
The Gipper, though, knew that what Americans like is a cheezy movie soundtrack and shots of complacency and conspicuous consumption. No one's stoned, either.
6. Bush's Scary Dukakis Ad
Since Bush couldn't name names the way an "independent" 3rd party could, this ad just scares the crap out of you without screaming "Willie Horton!"
5. Willie Horton!!!
Ah, yes, there it is.
4. Not Everything Has to Be Scary or Schmaltzy
Yeah, his Christmas commercial sucked, but when has another candidate done a parody video for his own damn campaign? He may lose, but Chuck Norris will (like Dorian Gray) live forever.
3. Clinton and Bush's Lips
Clinton, like usual, rips off nearly every great ad to date with this one- it's schmaltzy, America's great, the other guy lies, facts and figures by smart people... And it helped get him elected.
2. Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth"
This ad, denigrating the war service of a decorated veteran, helped get a draft-dodging warmonger re-elected. Enough said.
Even James Cameron ripped this shit off in T2, that's how powerful it was to the baby boomers. It's rare that the ads which promise the destruction of everything we hold dear actually work (see #8), but this one did and how. Yay Vietnam!