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Michigan Candidate Steals "Daisy" Ad To Spotlight Debt

In 1964, Lyndon Johnson ran a dramatic spot that became known simply as "Daisy." It was broadcast only once as a paid advertisement, achieving its notoriety because nightly news programs replayed the ad in its entirety. The spot depicts a young girl picking petals from a daisy before viewers here the ominous voice of a nuclear countdown and a subsequent explosion. Viewers recognized the ad as an indictment of opponent Barry Goldwater, despite the lack of context. Watch the Ad
Museum of the Moving Image
Bill Cooper, a congressional candidate in Michigan has updated the famous LBJ "Daisy" Ad.

Instead of framing the decision to vote around national security and fear of nuclear war, the new ad uses the young girl counting the daisy petals to mark the growing national debt.

Under a montage of grim economic headlines and images, the narrator says "years ago we feared destruction from others, now our greatest threat is from within. The stakes are too high to elect another career politician or a former athlete. Vote Bill Cooper for congress. Constitutional Conservative, Job Creator, and proven leader."

The original Daisy ad.

On his website, Cooper, a businessman who call himself a "serial entrepreneur," says he'll protect tax dollars. "My goal in Washington will be to stop the spenders of our tax dollars. I will be fighting against career politicians who have been termed-out of their current elected office and have presided over the worst state economy in the country. Does anyone really believe that sending those same tax and spend politicians to Washington is the answer?" he wrote.

The reference in the television ad to the former athlete is a swipe at one of Cooper's primary challengers, Jay Riemersma, a local high school and University of Michigan football star who went onto to play 7 seasons in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills.

Cooper is running in Michigan's 2nd Congressional District to replace 9-term Congressman Peter Hoekstra, who is retiring.


Robert Hendin is a CBS News White House producer. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here.
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    Robert Hendin is senior producer for "Face the Nation" and a CBS News senior political producer.