The Living Room Candidate

Part of the intriguing online American Museum of the Moving Image, this site has a searchable archive of political television spots, going all the way back to Ike’s 1952 campaign. Sleazy commercials are not a recent development; take a look at George Wallace’s 1972 spots, with their very thinly veiled racism. Of course, George H.W. Bush far outdid Wallace, with his “Willie Horton” ads, which are also in the archive. And there’s Ronald Reagan’s wonderful “Morning in America” spot, a dreamlike haze that managed to stay as far away as possible from policy, issues and reality. The site also features current ads, which is helpful for those of us outside the battleground states who are only getting a look at the snippets of campaign ads, as well as those produced by the various 527s, shown on news programs.