That Old Time Campaigning

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Politics has forever been the skillful blend of sense and artifice; but it’s delightful to see Governor Cuomo give us New Yorkers a humorous take on the old abracadabra. Drawing inspiration from William Jennings Bryan (a master of distinguished rhetoric without substantive purpose ), Cuomo designed his work in the manner of Bryan’s presidential campaign poster of 1900.

And for this holiday season, Mr. Cuomo commissioned a reinterpretation of the classic poster, representing what he sees as his own battles as governor. The octopus is now a sea monster, writhing in the Hudson River, with three heads, labeled corruption, bureaucracy and apathy. Swimming in the river are striped bass (a nod to Mr. Cuomo’s affection for fishing), and a truck passing by bears the message “NY Yogurt: World’s Best” (a reference to the governor’s advocacy for the state’s fast-growing Greek-style yogurt industry).

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A campaign poster from William Jennings Bryan’s 1900 presidential bid.

Such posters were the “televised ads” (sans television), the “radio sound bites” (sans radio), of their day; serving to catch the attention of prospective voters before their common sense would take hold. Then again, these posters were arguably much more imaginative and much more colorful than most of the dazzling dissonance of today’s high-tech sound and fury.

Source: {read more} NY Times

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