The More Things ‘Change’ …

By Beacon Staff

The current financial crisis has injected a note of seriousness into a presidential campaign that was getting pretty dumb. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have descended to a ridiculous tug-of-war over who really represents “change” while employing the most hackneyed, bland, clichéd political attacks in the book. How can I tell? Because the Museum of the Moving Image has created a priceless database of campaign commercials dating back to 1952 called “The Living RoomCandidate.” Here are a few of my favorites.

To get a good sense of a candidate’s umbrage over so-called “gutter politics,” check out this ad by Democrat Michael Dukakis in 1988. It’s shocking how similar it is to the things media observers have been saying about this campaign.

What about the harsh treatment Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has drawn since her selection, namely the assertion that she isn’t a “serious” candidate? At least Democrats didn’t make any ads like this:

Distortions of a candidate’s record? Check out this ad from the Nixon-McGovern campaign, where Nixon assets McGovern sought to put 47 percent of the country on welfare:

And finally, I challenge you not to cringe while watching the infamous John Kerry “windsurfing” ad from 2004 – whether you like the ad or not it’s hard to deny the sheer evil genius of it.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Check them out and be reassured that the more things “change,” the more they stay the same.