"Our Leaders Have Failed Us"

Richard Nixon, 1968

Perhaps the single best piece for conveying the sense of social upheaval associated with the late 1960s, this is simultaneously a harbinger of the world in which social order and cultural values would frequently upstage economic welfare and foreign affairs as campaign concerns. From the campaign of Republican Richard Nixon against Democrat Hubert Humphrey in 1968, it also represents a powerful implicit argument about the need to change partisan control of the White House.

Major-party campaign ads were already headed toward the modern thirty-second format in 1968, and they would rarely ever again reach the size and scope of this one. The piece is further distinguished by the identity of the voice-over, the candidate himself, who is never identified.

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