Thingish Things

Campaign Ad, Johnson ’64

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 22•11

Here, arguably, is the most famous campaign ad in U.S. political history, the so-called “Daisy Ad” produced in 1964 by media guru Tony Schwartz. The ad famously ran only once, but it was effective in frightening Americans against supporting Sen. Barry Goldwater (R) for president.  (Before the days of You Tube.)

One one of my favorite political stories also happens to involve Goldwater, and this is as good a place and time as any to tell it.  It was relayed by Senator John McCain at a campaign event in New York in the winter of 2000.

Goldwater had served as McCain’s campaign manager for congress after McCain had returned from the horrors of the “Hanoi Hilton” in North Viet Nam. After having a few cocktails one night, Goldwater turned to McCain and said, “You know, John, if I had won the presidency in ’64, you never would have been in that prison cell in Hanoi.”

“I know,” McCain replied. “I’d have been in a prison cell in Shanghai.”


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