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Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 in Politics | 0 comments

Republican Disunity: 1964 LBJ Campaign Commercial

Remember when…

Johnson positioned himself as a moderate, and succeeded in portraying Goldwater as an extremist. Goldwater had a habit of making blunt statements about war, nuclear weapons, and economics that could be turned against him. Most famously, the Johnson campaign broadcast a television commercial on September 7 dubbed the “Daisy Girl” ad, which featured a little girl picking petals from a daisy in a field, counting the petals, which then segues into a launch countdown and a nuclear explosion.[17] The ads were in response to Goldwater’s advocacy of “tactical” nuclear weapons use in Vietnam[citation needed]. Another Johnson ad, “Confessions of a Republican”, tied Goldwater to the Ku Klux Klan.[18] Voters increasingly viewed Goldwater as a right wing fringe candidate — his slogan “In your heart, you know he’s right” was successfully parodied by the Johnson campaign into “In your guts, you know he’s nuts”, or “In your heart, you know he might” (as in push the nuclear button), or even “In your heart, he’s too far right” (some cynics wore buttons saying “Even Johnson is better than Goldwater!”)

The Johnson campaign’s greatest concern may have been voter complacency leading to low turnout in key states. To counter this, all of Johnson’s broadcast ads concluded with the line: “Vote for President Johnson on November 3. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.” The Democratic campaign used two other slogans, “All the way with LBJ” and “LBJ for the USA”.

Via John Dickerson, “That was back when they had real inter-party fights.”