The Presidential Crapshoot

By Ray Schultz

The 2016 election year is off to a roaring start. Will we end up with Clinton, Sanders, Trump, Cruz, Bush, or maybe Michael Bloomberg?

Take heart, doubters, the republic will survive. Consider another turbulent election year: 1952, when the U.S. was bogged down in Korea. Who could best deal with that problem and others?

Here’s what Time magazine said in a direct mail letter sent at exactly this time of year. It’s identified in a handwritten note as “White House ’52.” The top of the piece is adorned with a line drawing of the White House, and cameo shots of several contenders.

Dear American:

As a landlord, you have a pretty big decision to make!

Between now and November, you have to award that longterm lease on one of your most important pieces of property: The place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

You have to decide “who gets the key to the place”—and you’d better start thinking about it now.

For the prospective tenants are lining up already. Right now, they’re all on their best behavior – but you’re going to learn a lot more about them from now on.

When the Conventions are over in July the list will be down to the two main contenders – and the rest will be up to you!

For the next seven months will see the hottest political battles ever fought! The issues will cover the full fabric of domestic and foreign affairs – the air will be filled with claim and counter-claim, rumor and propaganda. You’ll have to weigh the facts yourself – judge the issues and put your vote (and American’s hopes) on the winner. S

And it’s not going to be easy to see the real facts in perspective – about the political jockeying going on here at home…about the dangerous derby being run on the international scene…about taxes and inflation, scandal and security, war and peace – all issues that are important to you, your family and your future.

So I’d like to suggest that you take TIME, The Weekly Newsmagazine – a proven source of such news information. More people are reading TIME now than ever before in TIME’s history. And I think you, too, will find that TIME will bring you more of the news you want to know faster and more accurately and more interestingly than you can get it anywhere else.

TIME will gather and wave this news into one clear, coherent story – not only of the dramatic events on our own political scene – but all the other aspects of the world news that you will want to have at your mental fingertips. TIME will bring you news of Foreign Affairs, of the War in Asia, of Business, Science, Medicine, and of Art, Religion, Sports and Education…

…organized into 25 departments for your convenience and understanding – a bright, vivid, hard-to-forget weekly presentation of the whole world’s news and the U.S. attitude toward that news.

So I hope you will let TIME clarify and verify the news for you –

For the next 27 weeks for only $1.97!

–a special trial rate which brings you TIME for just about one cent a day.

No need to send any money now – we’ll gladly bill you later. But, this special saving is available for a limited time only. So please sign the enclosed card and mail it back to me at our expense today.

Cordially, Bernhard M. Auer

Circulation Manager

TIME – to get it Straight!

Who were the contenders? Time described them, although not by name, in another letter, sent on Feb. 23. This one uses a horse race analogy, and the copy is overlaid on a photo of a milling crowd. It was identified as “TIME Election Letter keyed BMA/DN.”

Dear American:

The big race is on!

The purse is the Presidency; the course is forty-eight states long: the track is fast, but slippery.

Watch them closely as they found the first turn. Watch for signs of unexpected speed or early fatigue. By summer, the race will narrow down to two – can you pick them?

Will one of them be the Ohio Senator who seldom loses?

Or the crime-bustin’ Tennessean with the coonskin cap?…the likable liberal from the West Coast…the genial General who may outdistance them all in the “stretch?”…or the affable Galahad who’s now Governor of Illinois?…the wandering prexy from Pennsylvania…or some dark horse coming up fast on the outside?

And let’s not scratch that controversial man from Missouri!

The rest of the copy mirrors that of the White House letter. And the offer is the same.

Come to think of it, this might also be a good year for subscribing to Time.





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