Campaign ads can get downright ugly. Why do candidates embrace mud-slingling so easily?
Negative campaign mailers are a common sight in mailboxes this time of year.
- Notable negative political campaigns
1828: “The Coffin Handbill”: Produced by
Charles Hammond, a colonel in the U.S. Army, it smeared
presidential candidate Andrew Jackson for allegedly being an
adulterer. Another handbill claimed Jackson's mother was a
prostitute. Jackson defeated incumbent John Quincy Adams in the
1964: “The Daisy Ad”: The television ad was
only aired once by Lyndon Johnson's campaign, but is widely
recognized as the most controversial political advertisements of
all-time. It featured a girl in a meadow counting as she picks the
petals off a flower and listening to chirping birds before being
incinerated by an atomic blast. The message equated a vote for
Johnson's opponent, Barry Goldwater, as a vote for nuclear war.
Johnson won the presidential election in a landslide.
1988: “Willie Horton”: Horton was a felon
serving a life sentence for murder in Massachusetts. The state had
a weekend furlough plan for inmates and Horton committed assault,
armed robbery and rape during his brief time outside prison. Horton
was used to slam Democratic presidential candidate and
Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis as soft on crime for endorsing
the program. Republican George H.W. Bush won the election.
Posted: Saturday, October 23, 2010 12:00 am
It's that time in our democratic cycle when you rise to your
radio alarm daily with accusations about a candidate's voting
history or personal indiscretions.
As you eat breakfast, a television advertisement offers an
unflattering picture of a politician coupled with their stance on a
hot-button issue. Upon returning home after a day of being peppered
with partisan rhetoric, you check the mail and receive a fistful of
flyers that deride a candidate for cozying up to unions or voting
to increase their own pay.
Saturday, October 23, 2010 12:00 am.