90s Election Specials

Ross Perot Press Conference, Suzie ' s Birthday party

00:00Copy video clip URL October 1, 1992. At a birthday party. Little kids spike the camera.

01:09Copy video clip URL Suzie shares gifts she’s received. She notes she’s turned 31 years old. When asked about last years’ party, Suzie says she can’t remember what the most memorable part of it was.

02:54Copy video clip URL Stop/re-start digitizing. Suzie talks about making pasta and potato salad for the party, but she’s most proud of making the cake. The icing was green.  She adds that Dave helped out a lot getting ready for the party. He vacuumed the living room, bought the beer. Dave responds but the sound is inaudible. Suzie runs through the name’s of her cats: Harry, Grace, Macaroni and Cheese, Victoria, Lilly. She adds that they eat dry cat food. She shows off her t-shirt: “Cat Woman.”

08:18Copy video clip URL Suzie goes through the gifts for Cecil, a young girl: a Barbie toy video camera, a dress. The kid starts playing with the toys as the adults continue talking amongst themselves. Various b-roll as the party winds down. A lull in the party, people sit around talking quietly, inaudibly. Suzie watches Disney’s Fantasia with her daughter. Various b-roll.

15:58Copy video clip URL Suzie is talking about knowing yourself. She says she told her mom once “I figured out what kind of tattoo I’m going to get.” Her mother didn’t quite understand the significance of the moment. Various random shots of the party as the conversation turns to what kind of tattoo the others would get.

17:05Copy video clip URL Change of location. The videographer is Barton Weiss. A man wears a Perot for President 1992 t-shirt. Ross Perot is preparing to give a speech in Dallas, Texas. Perot opens with a story about personal sacrifice and strife coming before success. He talks about his family’s immigration from Russia. He continues on about how sacrifice will be necessary for the country to solve its national problems. He notes the last time the country collectively sacrificed was during World War II. We need to work together again. Various b-roll of journalists covering the speech. Perot notes that a Vietnam Veteran send his Purple Heart to him recently to keep for support during his campaign.

19:38Copy video clip URL Perot says that if millions of us work together we can accomplish anything. He gives thanks for being chosen as a candidate “I love the American people, our principals, and I don’t want to see them violated. Millions of us are sick of it.” He introduces Jim Stockdale, Vice Presidential candidate, and his wife Sybil.

21:26Copy video clip URL Stockdale notes that he and his wife are celebrating 64 years of marriage. He adds he has a reputation of being independent. Perot, he adds, is a good man, extraordinary man. Selfless. Sybil has known him for 23 years. I’ve known him since the 1970s. Perot, he says, is a benefactor of the poor. He’s a guardian of the American fighting man. He finances the recovery of war veterans. He quotes Epictetus, “A live not put to the test is not worth living.”

25:40Copy video clip URL The journalist asks questions. Perot has not answered any of their questions and they want to know why. Various erratic b-roll. Orson Swindle continues his answer to the journalists saying that Perot will answer their questions in time. “Why didn’t Perot address any issues?”  The purpose of today was to announce his campaign. Due to erratic videography, only bits and pieces of the exchange are captured. The questions continue: How can you expect people to believe he’ll run a campaign of substance when he won’t address issues? Swindle answers that the purpose of this conference was for Perot to announce his campaign. How will the campaign be advertised? The TV efforts will be a variety of short commercials and extended telecasts. Swindle adds that Perot’s issues are relevant to the American people and domestic affairs. Why would he not stick around to answer questions of unemployment?  Swindle answers by saying we need to take advantage of the vast technological advantages that are going out to other countries.

33:58Copy video clip URL Perot re-appears to the journalists delight. They ask him to talk about his campaign. Perot responds, We’re not going to layout our strategy. He suggests that no one would tell his opponents his secret strategy. It will be unconventional, he admits. We will win by highlighting our issues. No one would tell his opponents his strategy. We’ll focus on the issues. When asked, “Why should America put its trust in an economic policy crafted largely by a Carter administration official?” Perot responds, “that person” was involved but he retained full control. That person was part of a talented team. Your question has a bad premise.

37:24Copy video clip URL When questions about the rise in gas bills, Perot notes that in Italy gas is five dollars a gallon. The variation is in the tax. Raising gasoline tax to put money into infrastructure. Perot adds he is not here for negativity, but to celebrate his announcement and keep it light. “I’m here today to have a positive, good time. I’ve been hearing all this yelling.”

41:20Copy video clip URL A journalist tells Perot, “ten weeks ago you said you were quitting. Now you’re back. Are you disrupting Bush’s strategy?” “No, absolutely not. I love you guys. He has called me every name in  the book. All I’ve ever criticized is his mistakes in office. To him, I’m a monster. I show up and you say I don’t like George Bush. You create a fairytale.”

43:24Copy video clip URL “Will you change your economic agenda?” Any plan should not be static. It should be dynamic. If someone has a better idea, let’s explore it. I don’t want to get locked into a blue print.

47:00Copy video clip URL A journalist types on his laptop. Various b-roll of the conference, journalists talk at once, Perot leaves. B-roll journalists file reports as Swindle continues talking telling anecdotes which the video does not capture.

49:00Copy video clip URL Conference ends, b-roll and various clips of journalists filing reports and interview conference attendees. There are a lot of comments captured mid-conversation with no reference to context.

55:13Copy video clip URL One Perot supporter being interviewed says we feel Mr. Perot has a powerful message, but he won’t say what the message is. He adds Mr. Perot is a candidate as of today. We’ll see how the people react. We hope they will vote for him. I thought it was a very good message he gave us today. Thorough. He explained why he wants to be a candidate. “I think he’ll win.”

56:49Copy video clip URL Jim O’Neil, President of People for America, an organization to help re-industrialize America, “which is what Perot advocates.” Our objective is to create 11 million private sector jobs in the next 5-9 years. Without 11 million jobs we don’t have a financial base to support Federal government, city government, State government. We will make these jobs by taking them back from where they went: overseas.

58:24Copy video clip URL Interview with a conference attendee who says his favorite part of the day was when the journalists started to laugh at that part about ego and money-driven politicians, as though this wasn’t more of the same. Of Perot, he says, I think he has a chance in hell, if we’re lucky. I think the combination of wine at the bar and hearing Ross Perot talk about the good of the people is about the best laugh I’ve had in a long time.

59:18Copy video clip URL Interview with journalist Jim Nesbitt from Newsweek who says today was a bit of a circus. Typical of Perot. He comes in and says what he wants and avoids questions. It’s a dog and pony show. When quizzed on the issues and pressed he takes a walk. It’s a bear to cover. As long as he can get on Larry King he won’t care what the print press says about him. Perot manipulates the election media, he sells his persona, gets his way, and comes off as anything but a media “slickster”.

01:03:18Copy video clip URL B-roll of a journalist typing on his laptop.

01:03:28Copy video clip URL A man surrounded by journalists with tape recorders answers questions. We only hear bits and pieces without any context.

01:05:11Copy video clip URL The videographer asks a foreign journalist, “Why was there so much anger in that room today?” It looked like the press had questions and Perot refused to answer. That leads to confrontation.

01:05:51Copy video clip URL Change of location. B-roll of several news trucks parked outside. News crews mill about and work.

01:06:30Copy video clip URL Change of location. B-roll of Perot for President campaign headquarters in an office building. The videographer notes that the sign reads “welcome”, but we cannot enter. They tell us we must fax them first so we’ll do that. There’s not a lot going on here. Lots of red, white, and blue.

01:08:28Copy video clip URL Static.

01:08:38Copy video clip URL Change of location. Interview with Robert Wilson who tells the story of how he got involved as a video producer making a commercial for Ross Perot. “In July we got a call on a Wednesday to meet at the Perot headquarters with Tom Luce, Hamilton Jordan, Ed Rollins, Mort Meyerson. A really heavy hitting group. I went through the interview and answered questions about how I thought I could help the campaign. They didn’t ask me about my politics. We had done some documentaries for PBS focusing on three Texans, what home means to them. We had done a documentary on Perot and his purchase an early copy of the Magna Carta. He says after the meeting the group asked him to write a biography on Perot in four days. We needed an outline. They liked what I wrote and we organized a shoot the next day. We focused on his POW experience as a hook, then cut to a conventional biography. We shot, edited, and turned in a rough cut on Saturday night. Perot hated it. I was disappointed. I scrambled to make changes he wanted. He hated it even more. Two days later he dropped out of the race. The spot was done on spec. He never requested it.”

01:19:34Copy video clip URL Wilson notes the ads were being done by another group. He think’s Perot current ads are good. Simple, straight-forward. I don’t know if Perot likes advertising in general. It makes him uncomfortable. Wilson notes what a thrill it was to work on the spec spot. I was positive Perot would love what we did, but others warned not to get my hopes up.

01:25:20Copy video clip URL Wilson talks about the dreams he had if Perot would have accepted his spot and continued his campaign. It would have meant big exposure for his work. “I thought I would have been made Media Coordinator. Who knows. I was just excited to be involved. It was an exciting time. The experience has been good for business. I can show clients the work I’ve done.”

01:30:19Copy video clip URL Wilson’s Perot commercial is played.

01:35:54Copy video clip URL The videographer records an answering machine and a message left by Perot’s headquarter staff acknowledging his request to videotape there. The message says there’s nothing for him to videotape, they have others doing the work.

01:39:27Copy video clip URL END

 

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