Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in
The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
Politics was never the same after Dwight D. Eisenhower took his first presidential campaign to television. Sound bites and jingles became the name of the game as politicians realized they could reach far more people on television than they ever could stumping around the nation. An excerpt from The Post of Oct. 2, 1952:
NEW YORK, Oct. 1 (UP) --
Ayoung advertising executive said today the Republicans plan a two-million dollar radio and TV campaign -- the most concentrated in history -- to swing 12 key States and win the election for Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The executive, Michael Levin, 31, told a news conference the campaign was based on a study he completed last August 18.
He added that the campaign was scheduled to begin October 20 in 62 counties in the 12 States. The plan calls for four or five TV spots and 15 to 20 radio spots a day over local stations during the final two weeks of the campaign.
(The program will consist, Levin told the United Press, of 12-second and one-minute films and recordings of Eisenhower answering questions asked by voters. Eisenhower prepared 40 answers about two weeks ago, Levin said, and the questions were prepared about a week later.
He said Eisenhower made statements on various issues and then tourists were recruited after they got off New York City sightseeing buses and asked whether they had any pertinent questions to ask. Their questions were recorded and filmed, Levin said, and then fitted in with Eisenhower's answers.)
Levin said the campaign was being sponsored by the Citizens for Eisenhower committees, that Eisenhower had approved it.
Levin said his plan included these counties as critical areas: Baltimore City, Allegany and Prince Georges in Maryland. ...
Levin said the 12 States are Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and California.
In addition, Levin said he had prepared an annex covering 13 counties in Texas.
Levin, who strongly indicated he is a supporter of Gov. Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential nominee, said he wrote the plan as a "labor of love of my interest in politics and for a friend."
He said the friend was Rosser Reeves, an executive of the Ted Bates advertising agency.
Levin said Reeves had suggested the TV and radio spot campaign during talks with millionaire John Hay Whitney; James Stanton, Texas oil man, and Henry Ford II. Levin said they had gone to Reeves seeking a way to counteract the Democratic slogan of "you've never had it so good." ...
He said Eisenhower committees already have persuaded some larger advertisers to permit local stations to preempt the time for the spots.
Such time, said Levin, who is a radio and TV executive for the Ersin Wasey Advertising Agency, is now impossible to buy.
Levin said the campaign was the biggest ever concentrated in so short a time in radio and TV. He said the biggest radio and TV sponsors spent only 34 million dollars over a year's time.
The Eisenhower campaign would be at the rate of a million dollars a week.