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The Presidential Debates Of ’08 — 1908, That Is

“It seems almost impossible to get away from the presidential campaign these days. The candidates are arguing on the radio in your car, plopping down in your living room on the TV, and even popping up on your computer.

For all that, you can thank William Jennings Bryan and William Howard Taft. Those two kicked off the era of the mass-media presidential campaign a century ago. And the modern parallels are uncanny….

They may sound a little long and drawn out to us today, but I would argue that the 20th century’s march to the sound bite begins with these recordings”

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