The Great Equalizer

Ever since President Dwight Eisenhower used TV to advertise his 1952 campaign, political purists have fretted that it might be possible to market a national leader on image alone—that voters would respond to the sizzle and forget to ask, Where's the steak? Presidential candidates spend up to $16 million on broadcast messages, and media strategists often become their most powerful advisers. The conventional wisdom is that a candidate's ads set the tone and direction for his campaign. But conventional wisdom in American politics has a way of being debunked, and this year the prideful place of paid ads is being taken...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!