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Living Room Candidate — If you’ve had enough of the 2008 election, how about looking to the past? The Living Room Candidate website is a beautifully-designed online exhibit from the Museum of the Moving Image, showcasing presidential campaign commercials from 1952 to 2008. You can explore by year and read a short article about each candidate’s television strategy, or browse by type of commercial (biographical, fear, real people, etc.) or by issue (corruption, taxes, war, etc.)
But the amazing thing here is that you don’t just read about the commercials, you can watch them online and draw your own conclusions about how fair, accurate and effective they were. These primary sources are invaluable for media studies and political history.
Some of these are quite entertaining, too. I love the contrast between two 1952 commercials, Eisenhower’s cartoon “Ike for President” and Stevenson’s torchy “I Love the Gov.” commercial.