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tv   Bombs Away LBJ Goldwater and the 1964 Campaign That Changed It All  PBS  August 17, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PDT

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>> funding for "bombs away" was provided by... additional support was provided by the following... [ buzzing ] >> man: this pticular phone only rings in a serious crisis. keep it in the hands of a man who's proven himself responsible. >> man: only rarely do you have an election that redefines one or both parties and sets the tone for decades to come. that's 1964. >> woman: daddy, he knew that there were things that needed to be done in this country. as he said, "now i have the
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opportunity, and i'm going to make the most of it." >> man: barry goldwater was a jut-jawed, handsome arizona senator, and a conservative who spoke with clarity and decisiveness. a deeply principled man who would stand up to the eastern liberal establishment, and especially who would take a tough line in the cold war. >> goldwater: but appease an aggressor, and eventually you'll have to go to war with him. >> man: the thing about goldwater's rhetoric that scared people was that goldwater would kick off a nuclear war. you didn't want goldwater's finger next to that button. >> we have the guts to make our intentions clear -- so clear they don't need translation or interpretation. >> man: senator goldwater was not the "extremist" that he was painted. some of the people behind him were, but he wasn't. >> sabato: in 1964, it was the grassroots in the republican party that changed the g.o.p. forever. almost the entire republican
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establishment either publicly or privately abhorred goldwater, didn't want him to be the nominee and then didn't really support him when he became the nominee. >> man: it awoke a sleeping giant. people who were tired of government telling them what to do, and living their lives, and all of a sudden, goldwater brought 'em out. >> you and i have a rendezvous with destiny. >> johnson personally felt the government had to be active in people's lives in order for you to get what you needed. private industry, private sector, wasn't going to do all of it -- couldn't do all of it. >> man: if you look at the raft of laws that he passed in the subsequent year or two, it's enormous. it's most ofabric now of our social policy. >> when johnson went with the civil rights act, remember, winning in the biggest landslide in the history of the country, he lost five southern states. >> man: certainly all the polarization we're talking about now has a lot to do with that realignment of the country, with the south becoming republican.
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that '64 election really changed the country. >> man: it was a momentous election in a lot of ways. it transformed the way that politicians talked to their electorate through their advertising. >> woman: our children should have lots of vitamin "a" and calcium. but they shouldn't have any strontium-90 or cesium-137. >> the daisy commercial was born. they kicked up the notch of dirty politics. >> lyndon johnson: we must either love each other or we must die. >> goldwater, jr.: that's become a classic of how to define your opponent. >> woman: johnson had said, "goldwater's already tying the rope around his neck. so let him keep doing it with all of his statements and what he's saying out there on the field, and all we have to do is give it a little tug." so the little tug were the ads that these characters concocted. >> sabato: you look back at all the election maps and you see what really caused
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a realignment? what caused people to think differently about their partisan identification? and, boy, it was 1964. the ads before 1964 weren't just primitive -- they were dull. >> man: eisenhower answers america. >> the democrats have made mistakes, but aren't their intentions good? >> well, if the driver of your school bus runs into a truck, hits a lamppost, drives it into a ditch, you don't say, "his intentions are good" -- you get a new bus driver. >> what is the most important issue nfrontg the american people in this election campaign? >> the 1960s presents our country with great opportunities and great challenges. >> mann: they were dreadful.
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i think there was no room for an emotional appeal in a political ad -- that they had to be fact-based, rational presentations. >> probably the most exciting ones involved a jingle, because it was the jingle era on television. >> ♪ ike for president ♪ ike for president ♪ ike for president ♪ ike for president ♪ you like ike, i like ike ♪ everybody likes ike for president ♪ ♪ hang out the banners, beat the drums ♪ ♪ we'll take ike to washington ♪ >> sabato: virtually every product was sold with a jingle. so "i like ike" with prancing elephants became the symbol for eisenhower in 1956. >> ♪ ♪ kennedy, kennedy, kennedy ♪ kennedy, kennedy, kennedy ♪ ken-nedy for me ♪ kennedy, kennedy, kennedy ♪ kennedy >> sabato: and john f. kennedy had the "kennedy, kennedy, kennedy, kennedy" ad that would literally drive you insane if you listen to it too many times. >> ♪ try something new >> sabato: well, in 1964, we began the era of professional television advertising that really did have an impact.
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>> ♪ >> mann: doyle dane bernbach was an up-and-coming advertising firm on madison avenue that was making a name for themselves with advertisements for up-and-coming firms and products that included volkswagen. john f. kennedy saw the spots and told his brother-in-law steve smith, "go find me that firm. i want to talk to them about maybe doing my advertising for my reelection in 1964." and that's how ddb came into the orbit of lyndon johnson and the dnc in 1964. johnson and the people around him, his aides and his advertising firm, wanted to portray goldwater as a dangerous man who, if he got control of the nuclear arsenal, might threaten the peace of the world.
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>> goldwater, jr.: the mood of the country at the time was one of worry about the soviet union in particular. peace was a big issue. >> man: bombs away. >> d. goodwin: that fear of nuclear holocaust had been part of all of us who grew up in the '50s and '60s. and by that time, we were used to it, after hiding under our desks for so many years.
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[ sawing noise ] >> man: in a saturday evening post article dated august 31, 1963, barry goldwater said, "sometimes i think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the eastern seaboard and let it float out to sea." can a man who makes statements like this be expected to serve all the people justly and fairly? vote for president johnson on november 3rd. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> califano: we had a -- i guess i would call it a rift between the so-called rockefeller republicans and the conservative republicans, rockefeller representing the liberal wing of the republican party, which, by and large, supported the great society programs, and by and large supported the
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civil rights legislation. >> buchanan: the rift between goldwater and rockefeller, it goes back, basically, to the battle between taft and dewey, and between taft and eisenhower, the conservative wing of the republican party... against the eastern liberal establishment, the moneyed class, wall street. >> goldwater, jr.: the rockefellers, george romney, scranton -- they were kind of the titular heads of the party on the east coast, and the east coast pretty well ran the party. >> wasn't east and west. it was east and midwest. it was the heartland republicans. by the time the eisenhower administration was over, by the '50s, the midwestern heartland republicans were looking to take the party back.
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>> goldwater, jr.: there were a lot of people that wanted him to run, and there was really nobody else that he could pass that off to. and the reason he ran was because he didn't want to let these people down, knowing he probably wasn't going to win. >> gold: it was goldwater who first said and knew he was not going to win the election because he said, the country will not take three presidents in over a period of two years. it was too much of a shock.
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>> man: don't look now, young man, but somebody has his hand in your pocket. it's the hand of big government. it's taking away about four months' pay from what your daddy earns every year. $1 out of every $3 in his paycheck, and it's taking the security out of your grandmother's social security. >> you know, that's the great trouble with big inflationary government. it takes more and more of your earnings. it slowly but surely destroys individual initiative and responsibility. government must draw its strength from the people. and as it drains away their strength, it must inevitably undermine the foundations of self-government. i ask you to join me in helping restore the individual freedoms and initiatives this nation once knew, to make government more the servant and not the master of us all. in this free nation, we do not choose to be ruled, we elect to be governed.
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>> the big campaign was california. we had to take california. by that time, rockefeller was in the race. it was in that campaign that rockefeller used all the nasty stuff that was later used. rockefeller's campaign ran a tv ad that said, "senator goldwater cannot start a world war -- president goldwater could." >> sabato: rockefeller ruined his chances with a very messy divorce and a remarriage to happy murphy. they had also clearly been having an affair. happy had rockefeller's son just days before the california primary. and this was at an age when
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publicly known adultery was not tolerated in politicians. >> newscaster: senator barry goldwater needs a thousand hands to receive congratulations after his victory in the california presidential primary. >> buchanan: and i've never been so excited as when barry goldwater won the california primary. i can't recall any election, including the election of richard nixon, of which i was more excited at that that meant he had theuse i knew nomination. >> newscaster: however, governor rockefeller has promised a fight to the finish. now, most of the sound and fury will fade until the republicans convene in san francisco's cow palace. >> buchanan: did i think he could beat lyndon johnson at that point? basically, no. when they got to the convention at the cow palace in san francisco, the moderate liberal republicans -- scranton, rockefeller, romney -- were not reconciled to goldwater's nomination. >> goldwater, jr.: you had that
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eastern establishment out there who were all jockeying for enough delegates. the goldwater contingent outmaneuvered everybody. we were so well organized. everyone had walkie-talkies, and they were in communication with a headquarters in a trailer outside the cow palace. they had every delegate identified and pinpointed, knew where he was, what his vote was going to be. they had people walking through the cow palace making sure that nobody was out of line. it was well orchestrated and very well done, and we smothered 'em and took over. [ applause ] >> i would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. [ cheers and applause ] [ horn blowing ] thank you.
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thank you. thank you. and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. [ cheers and applause ] >> gold: and when he said that, and people were stunned by the thing, one of the reporters turned around and said, "my god, he's going to run as goldwater." >> barry goldwater got up and tore that convention apart again, by that line that, "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." and i remember i was at stone harbor watching it with my father, and he wanted to see what kind of candidate goldwater was. he got up and said, "he's finished." and he was. >> r. goodwin: he was way to the right of where the country was. people didn't want to hear about
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extremism from him, or from any presidential candidate. >> nelson rockefeller, after the convention that nominated barry goldwater, got up to give a speech, and usually you expect a warm embrace of the candidate that did not prevail, and to unify going to the election. >> rockefeller: it is essential this convention repudiates here and now any doctrine... [ crowd jeering ] >> chafee: and he would get up to the microphone to talk, and the boos would shake the rafters. >> ...any doctrinaire, militant minority, whether communist, ku klux klan, or birchers. >> chafee: and he'd have to step back from the microphone and they'd subside, and then he'd get up and he'd start to open his mouth, and they'd start again. and he couldn't talk. it went on for over 15 minutes. >> ...wholly alien to the sound and honest republican liberalism that has kept this
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party abreast of -- [ audience booing ] human need. >> buchanan: the forces that could nominate goldwater from the south and west were tearing the republican party away from the republican eastern establishment forever, and they could sense that. >> let me get to the mic. >> you give it to 'em. it's your job! >> now, look! the governor hasn't had a chance to talk. he's been up here 10 minutes, and he hasn't a chance to talk but about four minutes. >> buchanan: and i think they believed that when goldwater goes down, then that fever will pass, and we will get our party back. and they never got it back. >> man: back in july in san francisco, the republicans held a convention. remember him? he was there. governor rockefeller. before the convention,
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he said, barry goldwater's positions can, and i quote, "spell disaster for the party and for the country." or him? governor scranton. the day before the convention, he called goldwaterism a "crazy-quilt collection of absurd and dangerous positions." or this man? governor romney. in june, he said, goldwater's nomination would lead to "suicidal destruction of the republican party." so even if you're a republican with serious doubts about barry goldwater, you're in good company. >> buchanan: lyndon johnson was a washington insider, a wheeler-dealer, a riverboat gambler, a guy who
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cuts deals for programs -- the antithesis of barry goldwater, who would take a clear-cut stand on principle. but no one doubted that he was an extremely effective politician, johnson, especially as a congressional politician and a leader on the hill. >> sabato: understanding that he had gotten the presidency in the worst possible way, he knew that the only way out was to establish himself with a victory so large that no one could say he was simply filling the office of what would've been jack kennedy's second term. >> i think that he wanted a landslide because then he knew he'd get his legislation passed. roosevelt was his hero, and i think that johnson said to himself that, "i'm going to be as good as roosevelt -- maybe even better." if he came in as a powerhouse, and with strength like that, it was going to be tough for the congress to turn him down on the difficult things he wanted to get passed.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> sabato: we are used to conventions today that are completely scripted and utterly boring. >> my fellow americans, i accept your nomination. [ cheers and applause ] >> sabato: what i think was significant about the democratic convention -- it also began the tradition of heavily scripted conventions. they carefully thought about what should happen each evening, what people at home would see. new jersey was picked, in part, because at the time, it voted republican quite often, and it was part of that northeast republican philosophy. >> and let none of us stop to rest until we have written into the law of the land all the suggestions that made up the
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john fitzgerald kennedy program, and then let us continue to supplement that program with the kind of laws that he would have us write. [ cheers and applause ] >> sabato: and the theme of the convention was, "let us continue." and that said, about as clearly as possible, that johnson was john f. kennedy's successor, and that his election would permit people to continue the policies they now overwhelmingly back. >> most americans want an education for every child to the limit of his ability, and so do i. >> mann: doyle dane bernbach, they had a surprising amount of control. they treated the convention hall as a television studio. >> most americans want victory in our war against poverty, and so do i. [ cheers and applause ] >> mann: they decorated the hall. from the banners to just about everything that happened during the convention bore some of ddb's fingerprints.
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they treated the convention like an advertising event. so, in many ways, they staged the convention, which was a new innovation, as well, to turn a convention over to an advertising firm. it still took another 20 or 30 years for the parties to really learn that they had to turn this into a four-day television commercial. >> these are the goals of this great, rich nation. these are the goals toward which i will lead if the american people choose to follow. [ cheers and applause ] >> senator, the news from south vietnam and, indeed, from all of southeast asia, gets worse and worse with each passing day. now, a lot of the supply lines seem to run on the laotian
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border, in any case through jungles and long trails. how could you interdict those? >> there have been several suggestions made. i don't think that we would use any of them. but defoliation of the forest by low-yield atomic weapons could well be done. when you remove the foliage, you remove the cover. >> man: on october 24, 1963, barry goldwater said of the nuclear bomb -- "merely another weapon." merely another weapon? >> sabato: johnson's strategy against goldwater can be summarized in one word -- "extremism." that was how he wanted to define goldwater, and goldwater played a role himself at every turn. >> [ speaking russian ] >> "and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible... >> [ speaking russian ]
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>> with liberty and justice for al >> i want american kids to grow up as americans. and they will if we have the guts to make our intentions clear. so clear, they don't need translation or interpretation -- just respect for a country prepared as no country in all history ever was. >> sabato: goldwater's slogan -- "in your heart, you know he's right." his advisors tried to talk him out of that, because they realized the use of the word "right" reemphasized his conservative platform. goldwater insisted upon it. and it took democrats approximately five minutes to come up with their parody -- "in your guts, you know he's nuts." >> so lyndon johnson and the democratic party painted goldwater as some guy that would be reckless. and i think that was a big part of it. and so the "whose hand do you want on the trigger?" was
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a commonplace thing in the campaign. >> that set up what johnson wanted to do, which was portray himself as a peacemaker. but the irony of this is sort of like woodrow wilson in 1916 campaigning for peace, and we go to war a few months later. lyndon johnson, the same thing. >> atomic weapons are not simply bigger and more powerful than other weapons. from the american revolution until now, about 526,000 americans have died in battle. they say an atomic bomb can kill more than that in a few minutes. >> r. goodwin: he portrayed himself as a man of the middle, and who was going to carry on the program of the democratic party. >> our great nuclear power must not be placed in the hands of those who might use it impulsively or carelessly. peace cannot be left to those who will not guard atomic weapons as a special
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responsibility. >> goldwater was, you know, like a giant apple on top of somebody's head. i mean, he was the perfect target. and he was so big, it was hard to miss the bull's-eye. >> ♪ we are not afraid ♪ we are not afraid ♪ we are not afraid >> mann: johnson was a politician, and he clearly understood that there was something to be gained by passing the civil rights bill. but i think that's too simple of an explanation. johnson, i think, believed in civil rights. >> what he wanted to do is get it on the books. he wanted to open that door. he wanted to show people how important it was. make them understand that this would make their own lives so much better.
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>> ♪ oh, deep in my heart >> califano: he grew up in abject poverty with abject poverty all around him, and he was very, very sensitive to that. the two things he was -- was driving him, were in his dna, were discrimination and civil rights on the one hand, and dealing with poverty. [ cheers and applause ] >> woman: i remember my parents talking, and other people talking in the community, you know, the distrust they had of goldwater. that he didn't like african-americans and it was evident in everything he did. i also remember the basic distrust of johnson. he was a southerner. and as a child, i just didn't know any -- any good white people that had drawls and twangs, so... >> davis: goldwater had to realize that he could not win at all if he didn't have the
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south, and then therefore that vote on civil rights was very important. he was not a racist. he never was a segregationist. he never would've gone for the jim crow type of government. that's not -- that was not goldwater. >> my fellow americans, i am about to sign into law the civil rights act of 1964. >> gold: goldwater voted against the civil rights act of 1964. he had voted for both the civil rights acts in the '50s. he was told at that time, by people like everett dirksen, "barry, if you vote for this bill, it will kill any presidential chance." >> thank you. thanks a lot. thank you. >> r. goodwin: if goldwater really wanted to antagonize all black americans, he picked a good way to do it. johnson saw it as a political opportunity, which indeed it was.
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>> also maybe scary, though. because he knew he was losing a large part of the democratic south, and that goldwater would appeal to the very base that would have been his base. so it was both a moment of opportunity and a moment of peril. >> man: "we represent the majority of the people in alabama who hate niggerism, catholicism, judaism, and all the isms of the whole world," so said robert creel of the alabama ku klux klan. he also said, "i like barry goldwater. he needs our help." >> the biggest adverse problem that lyndon johnson had was the racial issue, 'cause there was nothing like it. remember, he sent lady bird down on the lady bird special to go through the south in the hopes of salvaging some of the south. there was concern about her safety. there was a lot of abuse when she'd stop and speak, and people would talk, you know, "nigger-lover," and all that kind of stuff. >> woman: i recall specifically
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her saying at one stop, "now, just a second. you've had your turn to make your point. let me have mine. i'm so glad to be back here in the south that i love so dearly. so even if you don't like what i have to say, at least you understand the way i say it." and... [ laughs ] and, of course, that brought some humor and a little bit of levity, which frankly, we needed in that very tense time. >> the overall sense in the black community to me, and this is my opinion, is that, who do we trust to make sure that these things just don't go away? and what happens if johnson's not elected again? we could have it for this period of time, and then they take it away.
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>> woman: my parents got me involved in the ads. i did kodak film. i did spaghettios. i did kool pops, mccall's catalog, sears catalog. and then i auditioned for the daisy ad. >> 1... 2... 3... 4... 5...
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7... 6... 6... 8... 9... 9 -- >> man: 10...9... 8...7... 6...5... 4...3... 2...1... 0! >> lyndon johnson: these are the stakes -- to make a world in which all of god's children can live, or to go into the dark. we must either love each other or we must die. >> the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> it was a very effective ad. [ laughs ] i think it only ran once or a couple of times, and then they took it off the air. but they showed it again and
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again and again. >> all three television networks had run it in its entirety within their newscasts by the end of the week. and, so by the end of the week, probably 100 million people had seen it. >> you know, i know my grandmother was really concerned because it was a lot of negative publicity. a lot of people were saying bad things about, "how could parents let their child blow up in an atomic bomb?", stuff like that. >> goldwater's reaction was that that's pretty much what he'd expect from that blankety-blank. >> i know he was very upset. he thought it was dirty politics, and resented the implication -- implying that somehow or another, he was going to set off a nuclear explosion. >> had goldwater been more political, had goldwater been shrewder, had goldwater actually thought he could win the election, he would have offered to split the cost of the advertising, saying it expressed his sentiments exactly. >> the daisy ad was great. we thought the daisy ad was
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great. >> and even the daisy ad didn't even mention goldwater, everybody knew what it meant, which showed that goldwater had put him in a position where people understood that this ad was about goldwater. >> ♪ >> sabato: that was the genius of the spots in '64. not because it changed the public's opinion, but rather because it capitalized on sentiments that were already present in the electorate, especially johnson's series called the "bombs away" spots. >> woman: radioactive fallout from atomic testing is a biological risk. >> woman: the stakes are too
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high for you to stay home. >> woman: do you know what people used to do? they used to explode atomic bombs in the air. now children should have lots of vitamin "a" and calcium, but they shouldn't have any strontium-90 or cesium-137. these things come from atomic bombs. and they're radioactive. they can make you die. >> r. goodwin: it was too late. the vision of him as an extremist had already percolated into the national consciousness, and he couldn't erase that. and it was based on what he'd said and done, 'cause he was extremist -- at least, when he talked he was. >> man: is he for the barry who said, "i seek the support of no extremists"? or is he for the one who said, "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice"? and how is a republican supposed to indicate on his ballot which barry he's voting for?
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>> it was a brutal, brutal beating that senator goldwater took -- utterly unjustified. i think it embittered a lot of us. a lot of us woke up and said, "okay, this is how the game is played, and we will play the game, too." >> mann: "choice" -- it was a documentary film that was produced to attack lyndon johnson as a person who had degraded the nation's morals, who had undermined the social fabric of the united states of america by tolerating corruption and sexual promiscuity. it was a shocking film.
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>> sabato: here was the key to goldwater's advertising, and his personal feelings. he hated lyndon johnson with a passion. he had long regarded lyndon johnson as a crook, as sleazy. he believed the american public didn't understand what kind of man they had in the oval office. and so a good deal of that advertising was very personally directed at lyndon johnson. >> man: slowly, they begin to understand that something must be wrong... badly wrong... at the top. >> ♪ [ crowd yelling ] new america. ask not what you can give, but what you can take. >> mann: when it was shown to goldwater, he is reported to have said, "that's a racist film. we can't show that." officially, the goldwater people said they never
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used it, but the truth is, is that the spot was used across the country. republican supporters of goldwater would host these house parties and show the film. it just wasn't aired on television. but it still was out there accusing johnson of having undermined the nation's social fabric. >> ♪ >> ♪ >> man: young citizens for johnson have as guest of honor luci baines johnson, youngest daughter of the president, who is on a one-woman campaign tour for her father. the charming 17-year-old luci is the hit of the evening. then the teenager takes over, as luci does the watusi with all the verve of an expert. luci says she'll never tire of the campaign trail, as long as the band plays on.
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>> announcer: the program originally scheduled at this time will not be broadcast. >> mann: the one thing that goldwater did to try to change the image that people had of him as a reckless cowboy was to rush to gettysburg, pennsylvania, and sit down with dwight eisenhower. >> barry goldwater: our opponents are referring to us as "warmongers," and i'd like to know what your opinion of that would be. you've known me a long time. >> well, barry, in my mind, this is actual tommyrot. now, you've known about war. you've been through one. i'm older than you -- i've been in more. but i'll tell you, no man that knows anything about war is going to be reckless. >> mann: unfortunately, eisenhower looked like it was the last place on earth he wanted to be. the two men had no rapport, no chemistry. eisenhower was trying to bail out a guy who had been attacking him less than a year ago as an appeaser. so i think eisenhower was doing
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his patriotic duty as a republican, but his heart wasn't in it and it showed. >> newscaster: on that note, the dialog between general dwight david eisenhower and senator barry goldwater came to a close. >> mann: the one guy who really probably could've helped him was somebody that goldwater and his people didn't really welcome into the fold. >> newscaster: ladies and gentlemen, we take pride in presenting a thoughtful address by ronald reagan. mr. reagan. >> mann: reagan had this idea to give this nationally televised speech. the goldwater people didn't want to pay for it. they didn't want to do it. so reagan went out and raised the money and aired the speech himself. >> ronald reagan: and this idea that government is beholden to the people -- that it has no other source of power, except the sovereign people -- is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. this is the issue of this election -- whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the american revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capitalan
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plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. >> mann: the speech was called "a time for choosing," which may be ronald reagan's best speech ever, and that's saying a lot for ronald reagan, 'cause he gave a lot of great speeches. but this speech was a masterpiece. and it probably made the best case for barry goldwater that anybody, including barry goldwater, had made for himself. >> our democratic opponents seem unwilling to debate these issues. they want to make you and i believe that this is a contest between two men -- that we're to choose just between two personalities. well, what of this man that they would destroy? is he the brash and shallow and trigger-happy man they say he is? i knew him long before he ever dreamed of trying for high office, and i can tell you personally, i've never known a man in my life i believe so incapable of doing a dishonest or dishonorable thing. >> buchanan: i think his speech was such a tremendous event, that at the end of that speech
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and the end of that election, ronald reagan was being talked of as the successor to barry goldwater as "mr. conservative." that's what launched reagan's political career. i think it would have been launched anyhow. but that made him -- to the whole conservative movement nationwide was talking about that speech. >> we will keep in mind and remember that barry goldwater has faith in us. he has faith that you and i have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> gold: reagan's speech -- the was the high point of the campaign. the fruition of the goldwater campaign was 15 years later with the reagan revolution.
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>> sabato: you know, when you sense a landslide coming, and everybody did, there really isn't a whole lot of excitement on election day, except for the winners and their families and the immediate staffs, who start fighting over jobs. >> buchanan: i was in d.c. getting my driver's license renewed. there was a black lady there, and i had a goldwater button on. [ laughing ] and she started laughing. sort of, "good luck to you, fella." >> gold: election night, the senator was at home. and as the votes came in, goldwater wasn't shocked, obviously. the decision was made that he was not going to come out that night and make any concession. that's like asking a guy who'd been knocked out on the floor, "hey, did the guy beat you?" >> goldwater only carried his home state of arizona and the deep south. those are the only states he carried. and no republican ever had been
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elected dogcatcher in mississippi or alabama or georgia or south carolina or louisiana for years, for years, for decades, centuries. [ laughs ] and now the south is solid republican. it's a divided country. and it started with that 1964 election -- all because barry goldwater voted against the civil rights act. just that one vote carried the south. that's how important that was to those southern states. and it's kind of sad. >> mann: johnson achieved what he wanted, which was he got his mandate. he got the highest percentage of anybody who'd run for president. he did what he wanted to do by beating fdr by three-tenths of a point. >> he said, when he looked back upon that night, that he felt that he could picture all these people going into the election booth and pulling the lever for him, and then he knew finally, finally that the american people loved him. >> califano: i think he knew
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how important political capital was, and i think he knew how he was going to spend it. i mean, look at how he rolled out legislation. and he used to say, you know, that wonderful line of his, "what the hell's the presidency for? let's get this done. let's pass these bills." >> man: it's 3:00 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. but there's a phone in the white house, and it's ringing. [ telephone ringing ] something's happening in the world. your vote will decide who answers that call -- whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world. it's 3:00 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep. who do you want answering the phone? >> i'm hillary clinton, and i approve this message. >> the 1964 campaign made it
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essential that you have a professional campaign with advertising that was close to the equal of madison avenue's ads for products. [ heart beating ] >> man: there is a bear in the woods. for some people, the bear is easy to see. others don't see it at all. >> mann: the dna of that daisy girl spot is in a lot of what we see today. >> isn't it smart to be as strong as the bear? >> mann: the use of emotion in political advertising, that's directly from that daisy girl spot. >> ♪ o beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain ♪ ♪ for purple mountain's majesty above the fruited plain ♪ ♪ america, america... >> corzilius: i do see similarities with the current
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political commercials. i think to myself, "had the daisy ad not happened, how would that have changed the commercials of today?" so in a way, i don't want to say i'm ashamed, but in a way, i'm thinking, you know, it's pretty dirty politics, some of these commercials, and i can't say i agree with it. >> i know john kerry is lying about his first purple heart, because i treated him for that injury. >> d. goodwin: it's probably true from that moment on that the amount of time, resources, and money that was spent on television ads just kept escalating, so that a huge part of campaigning became, "what are the ads going to be on television?" this is where so much attention is going -- to raising the funds, number one -- that's why they go to all those stupid fundraisers -- and then putting these ads on television. i think it's a negative thing. >> oh, clearly. clearly, it is. mainly because it's made money all-important to campaigns. and it's like the presidency is
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for sale -- and in a way, it is for sale. >> sabato: in 1964, you see for the first time that the south is moving republican. you can see for the first time that the northeast is moving towards the democrats. and the west became divided. >> man: poverty is not a trait of character. it is created by circumstances. >>abem more clearly identified with two things -- larger government and more services, and civil rights. today, you have a republican party that believes that government should be small and should leave most of the work of government to the states and localities and that the individual rights should be honored above all. the party images, which had been fuzzy until 1964, became
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very distinct. >> i'm raymond massey. and this is what really gets me. this is a picture of a dead american soldier shot by the vietcong guerrilla in vietnam. what's our government doing about it, and the 275 other dead americans? nothing. not a thing. because we are fighting a no-win war in vietnam -- a war we don't want to win. well, as an american, i don't like it. i don't like our policy, and i don't like no-win wars, especially wars our men are getting butchered in. don't you want to stop this war? don't you care about what's happening over there? well, i care -- i care a lot. >> sabato: another precedent for modern campaigns from 1964 is that the issues that really matter don't get discussed. vietnam, which became the issue for four years -- johnson was the peace candidate, and it was one of the reasons why he won. he actually said during the campaign, "we're not abouto
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send american boys 9,000 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what asian boys ought to be doing for themselves." and we all know what actually happened. people should've probed johnson more about what he might have done. it's a lesson for us in every campaign. make the candidates discuss the issues that really matter, as we see them, rather than allowing them to put certain subjects off limits because it suits their political needs. >> the legacy of the '64 convention and the barry goldwater nomination run, that was the moment when the conservative movement to which i belong went down to an historic defeat. but out of that defeat, we captured the republican party and basically conservatives have been the dominant force in the republican party ever since. they haven't won every battle, but everybody has to now deal with that conservative movement. and it represented, i think,
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the death knell of liberal republicanism. you don't hear people call themselves liberal republicans anymore. >> [ chanting "can you hear us now!" ] >> buchanan: one of the driving issues of conservatism was the size and power and growth of government, and that is certainly the big issue today. tea party folks, they would've been with us in the cow palace. >> [ chanting ] >> gold: the business of goldwater being the godfather of the tea party and the republican party now, i'll just say it flat-out, as a goldwater republican -- they're political nihilists. >> [ chanting ] >> gold: goldwater didn't say we shouldn't have any government. goldwater didn't say every part of government should be rejected. goldwater believed in states' rights with a little "s" and a little "r." he wasn't talking this talk you hear now of practically john c. calhoun secessionist talk.
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>> califano: i think the legacy on the democratic side really started before the election with the civil rights act of 1964. what lyndon johnson did was say, "that's the first flag we're planting. there are a lot of more flags coming. and we are going to be the party that will end, end discrimination, whether it's in the voting booth, in public accommodations, in the workplace, in housing. and we're going to be the party that uses government to help the most vulnerable people in our society, and tries to use it to give them a hand up, not just a hand-out." >> four great bills in civil rights, 60 bills in education, medicare and medicaid... arts and the humanities, public broadcasting.
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so much was done. >> d. goodwin: he one time said, "some people want power just to march around to 'hail to the chief' and strut through the stage -- i want to do things." and so he used the power that he gained in that mandate as fully as he could. and had it not been for the war in vietnam, he would be still remembered as one of the most extraordinary presidents. and his due is now coming as the 50th anniversary, we now realize domestically what he did. >> califano: you look at what happened to goldwater before he died. he was an entirely different human being. i mean, he was for gay rights, gays in the military. i think he was a very honest politician, and i don't think there's anybody who can say any different. >> sabato: he's the one who went to the oval office and told richard nixon, "it's all over. you're going to lose in the senate." only somebody like goldwater could march in there and look at the president of the united states and say, "time to go." >> i think he demonstrated that
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you can argue and disagree but don't have to be disagreeable. at the end of the day, you can put your politics down and go and have a drink and enjoy the company of the opponents. he was a decent man, and he was respected because of that. >> i don't know just why they wanted to call this a confession. i -- i certainly don't feel guilty about being a republican. i've always been a republican. but when we come to senator goldwater, now it seems to me we're up against a very different kind of a man. this man scares me. i wish i could believe that he has the imagination to be able to just shut his eyes and picture what this country would
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look like after a nuclear war. i tell you, those people who got control of tt convention -- who are they? i mean, when the head of the ku klux klan, when all these weird groups, come out in favor of the candidate of my party, either they're not republicans or i'm not. i think my party made a bad mistake in san francisco. and i'm going to have to vote against that mistake on the 3rd of november. >> the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> funding for "bombs away" was provided by... additional support was provided by the following...
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i, franklin delano... harry s. truman... lyndon baines johnson... richard milhous nixon.... do solemnly swear... that i will faithfully execute the office... of president of the united states. american experience presents the definitive collection of presidential biographies. tonight, an actor who loved to play the hero, a president who wanted to rescue america... i am not frightened by what lies ahead, and i don't believe the american people are frightened by what lies ahead. the definitive collection of presidential biographies continues with "reagan." mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall! tonight on american experience.


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