Opinion Brief

Bill Cooper's modern riff on LBJ's 'Daisy' ad

A conservative Michigan candidate remakes a controversial 1964 ad — subbing in gloomy economic forecasts for the threat of nuclear war

A congressional candidate in Michigan — Republican Bill Cooper — has recreated Lyndon Johnson's iconic "Daisy" campaign ad with a twist. Johnson's famously controversial commercial, an attempt to translate fear of nuclear war into votes, merged footage of a little girl plucking petals off a daisy with a mushroom cloud. Cooper's updated version announces that "now our greatest threat is from within," and flashes dire economic headlines to dramatize the dangers of a ballooning deficit. "Johnson's (in)famous 1964 spot" implied that "little girls everywhere would 'die' in an atomic holocaust if he were not re-elected," says Brian Goldsmith in The Atlantic. Cooper's warning about the national debt is "not quite so convincing." It may suffer by comparison, says Michigan political blogger Doug Zylstra, but this "well done" ad gets Cooper's message across. Watch Cooper's ad — and the LBJ original — below:

And the original:

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