When it comes to attaining political office for their candidates, political campaigns will throw any message against the wall to see what sticks. Here's 7 ads that left us scratching our heads.
7- Ike and Bob
You'd think that repeatedly saying shortened names in strange voices would easily get one elected; however, as Adlai Stevenson's ad proves, sometimes the general public just doesn't understand genius. Mr. Stevens--who ran for president in '52 and '56--attempted to link Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower with the unpopular senator Robert "Bob" Taft, in this classic political ad, which substantiates claims that Larry Craig wasn't the first Republican official that was bipartisan when it came to love. Unfortunately for Adlai, people of the 1950's were much more tolerant of their politicians' lifestyles. That, or after hearing that strange voice say "Ike" for the sixth time, they forgot the name of his opponent. Whatever the case, Ike won the election in a landslide.
6- Mary Carey for Governor
When a semi-coherent, very skanky-looking woman in a bikini asks you to vote for her based on stances that seem more like gags than serious platforms, it shouldn't take long for either sex to determine that this candidate is both capable and qualified. And in the instance of California's 2003 gubernatorial race, more than 11,000 democratic-loving patriots agreed, as they made the extremely intelligent decision to select Mary Carey their next Governor. Unfortunately, she was up against another highly-skilled political machine, who had been in the politics game for months prior to the election, and just weeks before that had been involved in blowing up movie terrorists (and the occasional, light-hearted comedy). Yeah, I'm talking about Mr. Schwarzenegger, the governor of the smartest state in America.
5- Harold Ford: Just Not Right
Heavy-handed sarcasm was the weapon of choice for Republicans, as they went on the attack against Democratic Senate candidate, Harold Ford. While none of the claims made in the ad were true, the Republicans banked on the fact that many Southern Caucasians would be frightened by the prospect of Mr. Ford taking away their guns and dating white women (Harold is an African American, and apparently in certain areas of the country, that takes ladies like Mary-Carey off the dating table). Ultimately, the prospect of Canada attempting to "take care of" North Korea proved to be too much for many Tennesseans, and they decided to pass on Harold Ford in favor of a candidate who sold protected wetlands to Wal-Mart. Who needs ethical politicians as long as they make it possible for me to get 20 rolls of toilet paper for 20 cents?
4- Barack Obama: Celebrity
John McCain hit Barack Obama where it hurts him the most-- by detailing how overwhelmingly popular he is. What's more, the commercial briefly showed a couple of righteous babes that seemed to subliminally link hotties with Obama (I understand Britney has fallen off the hottie-radar as of late, but that picture shows her prior to her head-shaving, umbrella-attacking days). While Republicans praised the ad, stating that it added needed levity to an arduous campaign process, what got this ad the biggest laughs was the soft piano music playing at its conclusion, accompanying an image of an old man gazing off as he quietly slips into senility.
3- The Revolving Door
While George Bush thought that attacking Michael Dukakis's pro-criminal stance would garner many votes from snitches and player-haters, he failed to realize that he was alienating a huge percentage of voters (268 according to this ad) who were for the Dukakis revolving-door prison policy. Bush counted on the fact that since many of the revolving-door beneficiaries would be considered "criminals," it would be illegal for them to vote. Unfortunately, as the convicts had demonstrated before, they weren't opposed to breaking the law, and as a result all 268 cast votes against Bush. Dukakis was still easily defeated.
2- Jesse Helms' Hands Ad
Nothing better expresses frustration than a pair of hands slowly crumpling up paper. Jesse Helms knew this, and as a result he spent over half his ad focusing on this dynamic image. Jesse Helms also spent over 30 years battling against civil rights, gay rights, affirmative action, foreign aid, government support for modern art with nudity, school integration, and a national holiday to honor black civil-rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ultimately, Jesse Helms lost all those battles, and we now recognize him as one of this country's biggest losers. However, the power of the crumpling hands did get him re-elected.
1- Lyndon Johnson's Daisy Ad
I don't know what's more frightening: exploding eyeballs or the atrocious counting skills of that little girl. This ad inferred that if you didn't re-elect President Johnson, your cute little girl's eyes would be incinerated in massive, mushroom-clouded splendor. And if there's one thing Americans can't stand, besides other countries that don't agree with us, it's adorable youth's peepers getting blown out like birthday-cake candles. Thankfully, Lyndon Johnson won this election in a landslide victory, and as a result many of us one-time, adorable youngsters were able to use our optic nerves to watch these incredibly well-crafted, and intelligent political ads.