1952

Campaign Textile for Adlai Stevenson (2001.067.41)

Campaign Textile for Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965), 1952

Unidenified Maker

United States

Gift of Robert A. Frank, 2001.067.41

Photograph by David Bohl

Campaign Textile for Dwight D. Eisenhower (2001.067.40)

Campaign Textile for Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), 1952

Unidentified Maker

United States

Gift of Robert A. Frank, 2001.067.40

Photograph by David Bohl

Today, many voters feel inundated by "robo-calls" and incessant television ads around election time.  In 1952, television was just starting to have an impact on politics.  Dwight D. Eisenhower's (1890-1969) success as a general in World War II and leader of NATO led both major parties to pursue him as a presidential candidate.  In 1952, he ran as a Republican against the Democratic candidate, Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965).  But, it was Eisenhower's running mate, Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) who used television to their advantage.  His so-called "Checkers speech" allowed him to refute accusations that he dishonestly took funds from businessmen to sway his support.

During the campaign, Stevenson was perceived as an out-of-touch intellectual, and Eisenhower, with his catchy campaign slogan, "I Like Ike," catapulted to victory.