Goldwater’s ‘Eastern Seaboard’ Comment

|
September 19, 2012 12:24 p.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

Brian Beutler traced the origin of the 47 percent meme in a piece he did for us today all the way back to the Nixon-McGovern race in 1972, but Bob Mann, a former Senate aide and author who now teaches at LSU, points to what may be the closest historical parallel to Romney’s 47 percent comment.

In 1963, Barry Goldwater told the Saturday Evening Post, “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.” In the 1964 race, LBJ turned that into a memorable TV ad that is remarkably similar to this week’s reaction to Romney’s 47 percent remarks.“Can a man who makes statements like this be expected to serve all the people justly and fairly?” the narrator solemnly intoned.

Mann, who has written a book about LBJ’s famous “Daisy” ad, posits, “In fact, were it not for the ‘Daisy Girl’ spot, ‘Eastern Seaboard’ might today be considered the most effective presidential attack ad.”

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.

Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).

COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).

Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).

advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: