(Two Class Package) Elect Us, Not Them: The History of Political Advertising


(Two Class Package) Elect Us, Not Them: The History of Political Advertising, Part I & Part II

Leonard Steinhorn – American University – $20 for the 2 class series.


Each class will be presented from 4:00pm – 5:00pm ET with live Q&A

Thursday, June 10: Part I

Friday, June 11: Part II


A link for viewing will be sent to you 1 day before the first class.

Explore and enjoy the history of political advertising and how it influences us. This class looks at the origins of the 30-second spot — how it grew out of early television advertising — and then shows how candidates from Eisenhower to Kennedy to Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and all through Obama, Trump and Biden have used the medium to capture our attention and win our votes.

Prepare to like Ike, sing “High Hopes” with Sinatra, hear LBJ tell us “we must either love each other, or we must die,” watch the handiwork of Roger Ailes, wake up with “Morning In America,” identify with “The Man From Hope,” and see how candidate Barack Obama inspired the viral videos that now dominate our media ecosystem. We will explore the cultural values embedded in these ads, the role of celebrity in American politics, the way political consultants manipulate images, and the way negative advertising uses psychology, emotion, and visual cues to get into our heads. Professor Steinhorn’s class will combine American history, contemporary politics, and political psychology, and take you on a fun, nostalgic ride through the jingles and images that define our recent past.


Leonard Steinhorn is a professor of communication and affiliate professor of history at American University. He currently serves as a political analyst for CBS News in Washington, D.C. He has twice been named “Faculty Member of the Year” at American University.

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