Opinionated perspectives on The Living Room Candidate are offered by guest commentators, including prominent journalists, authors, historians, and political consultants.

What Makes an Effective Ad
This playlist is designed to support the classroom use of the “What Makes an Effective Ad?” lesson plan. Additional analysis of the ads and an... more
Evan Tracey
The Geico Message Strategy

Besides holding the advantage on spending, the Obama campaign also had a superior message strategy. When a campaign runs so many ads in such a condensed time period, it tends to get diminished returns. Without... more

Errol Morris
Real People in Political Ads

Voters and elections intrigue me. I earn a living from advertising, and I find political advertising endlessly interesting. What works, what makes people respond? What gives them reason to believe? Or... more

John G. Geer
There are a lot of concerns being expressed in all quarters about the harsh tone of the 2008 presidential campaign. It has been hard hitting. But has the tenor of this campaign broken new ground? Are we witnessing the most negative campaign... more
John Dickerson

Little has changed in politics over the past 60 years. Eisenhower’s pitch to white women (“Women Voters”) is striking for its time-capsule feel (Mom in charge of everything; Dad in charge of aloof paper-reading), but also reminds us... more

Leslie Savan
When Dems Attack

The Democrats once had a fairly clear sense of who they were—and even when they lost elections, their ads hit harder at Republicans than the Repubs hit them. But in the late 1960s, the Dems started fighting among... more