The best-known ad in the history of US politics—unless perhaps it's George H.W. Bush's infamous "Willie Horton" spot—has got to be Lyndon Johnson's still-startling 1964 ad called "Daisy Girl." The set-up is simple: A child no more than four years old plucks petals from a flower, counting up erratically ("…five, seven, six, six, eight…"). But before she gets a chance to try her luck with "ten," a man's booming voice intervenes, portentously counting down. As he reaches zero, the camera zooms tight to the little girl's eyeball. It reflects a vast and fiery nuclear detonation.
Message: Unless you'd like your children dead, you'd best not vote for Barry Goldwater.
Hillary Clinton's campaign now offers its own version of "Daisy Girl." No little children this time around. Instead, the ad juxtaposes the somber, anxious testimony of former launch control officer (and current research scholar at Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security) Bruce Blair with intemperate statements on the hustings from Donald Trump.
Message: Unless you'd like your children dead, you'd best not vote for Donald Trump.
Whether the Blair ad has the political staying power of "Daisy Girl" won't be known until the second Tuesday in November and beyond.
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