"Kamala Harris: Vice President Announcement"
"Hi, hi, hi, sorry to keep you."
"That's alright. You ready to go to work?"
"Oh God, I'm so ready to go to work."
I was raised to take action. My mother knew that she was raising two black daughters who would be treated differently for how they looked. Growing up whenever I got upset about something, my mother would look me in the eye and ask, "So what are you going to do about it?"
That's why, when I saw a broken justice system, I became a lawyer to try and fix it. It's why during the foreclosure crisis, I took on the big banks as California's attorney general. It's why, as United States Senator, I have fought to represent people like my mother, people who politicians overlook or don't take seriously.
Right now, America needs action. In the middle of a pandemic, the president is trying to rip away health care. While small businesses close, he's given breaks to his wealthy donors.
And when the people cried out for support, he tear gassed them.
America is in crisis and I know Joe Biden will lead us out of it. He's a man of faith, decency, and character. He raised his family that way. I saw it first hand with my good friend, Beau.
As Joe says, "We're in a battle for the soul of this nation." But together it's a battle we can win. We just have to take action.
"First of all, is the answer yes?"
"The answer is absolutely yes, Joe. And I'm ready to work. I'm ready to do this for you, with you. I'm just deeply honored, and I'm very excited."
"Kamala Harris: Vice President Announcement," Biden, 2020
Original air date: 08/12/20
From Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2012.
www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2020/kamala-harris-vice-president-announcement (accessed October 23, 2020).
Biden officially announced his selection of Kamala Harris for Vice President with this television and web spot.
"The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process."
-Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson, 1956
"Television is no gimmick, and nobody will ever be elected to major office again without presenting themselves well on it."
-Television producer and Nixon campaign consultant Roger Ailes, 1968
In a media-saturated environment in which news, opinions, and entertainment surround us all day on our television sets, computers, and cell phones, the television commercial remains the one area where presidential candidates have complete control over their images. Television commercials use all the tools of fiction filmmaking, including script, visuals, editing, and performance, to distill a candidate's major campaign themes into a few powerful images. Ads elicit emotional reactions, inspiring support for a candidate or raising doubts about his opponent. While commercials reflect the styles and techniques of the times in which they were made, the fundamental strategies and messages have tended to remain the same over the years.
The Living Room Candidate contains more than 300 commercials, from every presidential election since 1952, when Madison Avenue advertising executive Rosser Reeves convinced Dwight Eisenhower that short ads played during such popular TV programs as I Love Lucy would reach more voters than any other form of advertising. This innovation had a permanent effect on the way presidential campaigns are run.
The 2020 edition of The Living Room Candidate has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.