Ron Cowen at Science News has a fun story about the very first political recordings. A century ago, amidst the 1908 Presidential election campaign, the two candidates -- William Howard Taft and William Jennings Bryan -- took time to record messages on wax cylinders for mass distribution. Previously, recordings had been made of actors reading the text of various speeches, but this was the first time the candidates themselves got into the game.
Best of all, you can listen to the recordings themselves. Hear Bryant speak on "The Security of Bank Deposits", and Taft talk about the "Rights and Progress of the Negro." Happily, those problems have been completely solved by now.