Thingish Things

Campaign Ad, Mondale ’84

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 09•11

This 1984 Mondale-Ferraro ad hints at the beginning of outright “negative” — or “comparative” — political television advertising.   (That really began in 1964 with Tony Schwartz’s “Daisy Ad” for Lyndon Johnson. But here the opponent, Ronald Reagan is named outright, which was rare for the time.)

The ad fell short — way short.  Mondale-Ferrer lost 49 states, and some still say all 50.  Mondale’s home state of Minnesota was to go to recount, but Reagan’s team graciously decided not to challenge it so as not to humiliate Walter Mondale where he lived.  It was the biggest blow-out in presidential history.


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