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Vintage Ike-Adlai TV Campaign Spots: Military Man in White House a Bad Thing? | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Vintage Ike-Adlai TV Campaign Spots: Military Man in White House a Bad Thing?

As the crucial (if generally depressing) fall election campaigns get ready to launch, you might find amusing, and amazing,  the  vintage singsong TV commercial from back-in-the-day (1952) which promoted Gov. Adlai Stevenson of Illinois over Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for president on grounds that the Democrat was not a military man.  You won't find anyone highlighting that line these days. 

The female singer goes so far as call Stevenson "Civilianson," and like now, we were then trying to wind up a war, in Korea.  Of course, as we all know,  the Man from Illinois with no military experience was trounced in November.  Here's how the song ends:

From Illinois, whence Lincoln came/His leadership has won him fame

A soldier man is always found/To think in terms of battlegrounds

But Stevenson --Civilianson-- Will lead us till the peace is won.

Only a truncated version of the commercial exists online today, but here's the famous "I Like Ike" commercial from the same year -- made by Roy Disney.  Reportedly it even got me marching around in front of my house carrying such a sign -- at age 4.

 

 

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