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It was the dawn of television that changed the way politicians reached their audiences. Before that, it was all about getting out and about, meeting the voters, holding town-hall debates and shaking hands.
In fact, in 1948 Harry S. Truman covered over 31,000 miles in America, shaking over half a million hands. That was quite the achievement back then, but it would be astonishing today. No candidate would ever put that kind of a commitment into the meet-and-greet when direct mail advertising can do a far more effective job getting a message out to the masses.