Best and worst political ads from the presidential election season

My column Wednesday lists some of the year’s best and worst political advertisements so far. But don’t take my word for it; go see them yourself. Here are three I’d recommend because they’ll give you a distilled version of the presidential campaign so far:

Wake Up,” from Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove’s independent group. It’s a concise version of the core Republican argument: President Obama got our hopes up in 2008, but he let us down -- and it’s time for a change.

Come and Go,” from the Obama campaign. This is the core message of the Obama campaign right now: Mitt Romney says he knows how to create jobs, but his record in private business doesn’t support that.

For a more emotional version of the same message: “Stage,” from Priorities USA Action, an independent Democratic group supporting Obama. A dramatic interview with a worker who lost his job after Bain Capital bought his employer.

But why stop there? There are plenty of ads on the websites of the campaigns and independent groups, and they’re easy to find.


For sheer viewing pleasure, though, how about a trip into history? New York’s Museum of the Moving Image has a wonderful collection of ads from 1952 to 2008. Don’t miss the 1964 Lyndon B. Johnson “Daisy” ad that helped sink Republican candidate Barry Goldwater, the 1988 “Willie Horton” ad (an early example of independent committee advertising) that kneecapped Democrat Michael Dukakis, or the 2004 “windsurfing” ad that made Democratic candidate John Kerry look silly.


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Follow Doyle McManus on Twitter @DoyleMcManus. Follow Opinion L.A. on Twitter and Facebook.