A blast from the past…

Doug Bailey, founder of the Hotline, died today. Reading a little about him, I discovered he was a political consultant, who worked for President Ford when he ran for re-election against Jimmy Carter. Which led me to this, never aired ad/video (alert: it’s four minutes long):

It’s interesting, with some modern touches, like the person on the street interviews, and some anachronisms, like wide collars and a catchy song that’s kinda awful at the same time. Beyond that, the controversy is at about 2:47 where they show Ford thrown off by a cherry bomb explosion (there were two assisnation attempts on him) and then pointedly say things have changed when a President can go to Texas in the open air — an obvious reference to Kennedy. (There’s also the mention of a university again a symbol of the discord of the 60’s.)

What struck me was how the symbols we use change so rapidly. A president in Texas or a president being embraced at a University would have less meaning or certainly different meaning today then it did. It makes me wonder if part of Clinton’s appeal to youth some how harkened us back to the discord of the 60’s as well, did it effect voters on an unconsious level?

Symbols are powerful tools. This video didn’t air because it was too controversial, even 12 years after Kennedy was killed. Symbols are powerful tools, but only in the right context.

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