Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 27, 1972 · Page 114
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 114

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 27, 1972
Page 114
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Page 114 article text (OCR)

The last days of summer S u m m e r vacation -almost over. Long days at the beach coming to an end. But you'll enjoy every last minute with nothing to worry you. You know the confidence of Tampax tampons. Know that they're worn internally. That they can't be felt when in place. That the with- d r a w a l cord is safety-stitched the entire length of the tampon so it won't pull off. You know that internal protection means you can swim every day. And t h a t Tampax tampons won't let you miss a moment of the end of a p e r f e c t summer. Ouronly Interest to protecting you. O BY A DOCIOft iLLKmS or WOMEN HAPE ONLY BY TAMPAX INCORPORATED, IAL«», MASS- 8 * CannMiir72- IttsbYNrNmkkirM by Theodore Irwin Y our telephone rings. As you lift the receiver, you hear a cheerful voice introduce a Presidential candidate. Then the candidate himself comes on the line, and talks to you informally on tape for two minutes. He ends by saying, "Thank you for your patient attention to this message." You have been reached, person to person. And it's all been done by a sophisticated pushbutton machine--a black box, about three feet long, hooked into a battery of instruments that can dial up to 50 phone numbers at a time. Given enough black boxes, the candidate can reach every home telephone in America. The robot phone is only one of the sophisticated devices which the two parties will unveil this year. Others include high-power computers that fire off letters at a phenomenal rate, portable tape cartridges for door-to-door volunteers, and mobile audiovisual equipment which can answer audience questions. Increasingly, technology is taking to the hustings as the candidates seek more effective ways of personalizing their campaigns. One could describe the process as electioneering by electronics to a new electorate. New game in town For Campaign '72 is a whole different ballgame. The recently enacted Federal Election Campaign Act restricts expenditures. Moreover, experts are having second thoughts about television commercials, which merchandise candidates like breakfast cereals, and seem to bore voters instead of persuading them. "You can win without TV," says Michael Lesser. Lesser is general manager of the November Croup, an organization of advertising people working for the National Committee lo reelect the President. "Mr. Nixon has enough TV exposure in his role as President," Lesser explains. "But through the phone, letters and other devices, he can articulate his programs personally. It's possible to reach as many people in these ways as by TV." Candidates for most major and even minor offices now lean on professional "kingmakers," some 250 communicator agencies known as campaign specialists, consultants, counselors or planners. £va and Murray Roman have used the telephone in more than 70 campaigns. Among the outstanding ones is the husband-and-wife team of Murray and Eva Roman, heads of the Campaign Communications Institute, which has serviced over 70 campaigns, both Democratic and Republican. Currently they are i'nto the McCovern campaign, among others. "The problems this year," declares Murray Roman, a goateed, low-keyed 52-year-old strategist, "are how to make the candidate extend his time, be in many places at once, and get closer to the voters. The answer to them all is automated politics. Through computers, for instance, we can get lists of veterans, ethnic minorities, new voters --any group you name--and custom- design special automated appeals to them. It's the old politics dressed in the new technology." Eva Roman, a vivacious former psychologist, agrees. The telephone, she says, is "the most persuasive tool in the persuasion industry." The Romans now have engineers at work perfecting a larger black box that will execute 100 phone dialings simultaneously for a total of 72,000 calls a day. This means that in the average Congressional race, an entire district could be saturated in two days. For the Presidential battle, the box is expected to go into blitz action during the final four weeks before Election Day. With the new devices have corne new techniques for sabotage and skulduggery. On one occasion, a rival candidate had someone jam the phone of the Romans' black box by calling, the number and not hanging up. Now the robot phone number is as secret as the Coca-Cola formula. Private "security agents guard the company's offices to prevent espionage or midnight raids. The chief problem with the telephone, though, is not sabotage but the new campaign spending law, which lirrtits expenses for broadcasting, newspaper advertising and phone calls to 10 cents a voter. In a Presidential campaign, this adds up to about $14 million. But direct mail is exempt from the law, and so the country will be papered with tons of letters from candidates. Jack Glascolt of the Mail Corporation of America, who has handled numerous mail appeals for the Republicans, asserts that with enough computers and name- and-address magnetic tapes, he could send out 40 million letters a week. People analyzed Using readily available mailing lists --from election boards, credit card companies, car registrations and the like--the computers can divide people into categories which range from their age and religion to the value of their homes. "I don't think a letter will bend many minds," Glascott admits. "But it could make a difference with the indecisive voter." McGovern's direct-mail campaign has won wide respect because of its success. It is expected to yield more than half of the $25-million to $35-million budget for McGovern. What else is in store for us this year? For one thing, there's the Paxmobile; a truck which carries audiovisual equipment. When the voter asks a question, an animated cartoon figure appears on the screen and gives a tape-recorded answer. And then there's the Telo/Play machine, which permits campaign volunteers to make 300 calls in five hours from their own home telephones. The ultimate tool is the picture phone, but it isn't widely available. Old gimmicks, too In spite of the new technology, millions of dollars still flow into the conventional hoopla of the torchlight parade era--gimmickry ranging from buttons and bumper strips to seed packets and doorknob hangers. A candidate for the New York State Assembly recently ordered 10,000 lollipops, in five flavors. And in Connecticut, a politician who keeps getting reelected depends almost exclusively on thousands of potholders emblazoned with his name and picture. But in this year of the robot phone, can you imagine Richard Nixon or George McGovern handing out lollipops or potholders? PARADE · AUGUST 27, 1972

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