Mudslingers: The Top 25 Negative Political Campaigns of All Time Countdown from No. 25 to No. 1

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2005-12-30
Publisher(s): Greenwood Pub Group
List Price: $62.60

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Americans have a love-hate relationship with negative campaigning, claiming to despise it and ranting about how it turns off the electorate, while at the same time paying an increasing amount of attention to negative ads and tactics during ever-lengthening campaign seasons. Swint gathers the most compelling of these campaigns from the two "Golden Ages" of negative campaigning--1864 to 1892 and 1988 to the present--in addition to some that fall outside those demarcations, and ranks them in descending order, from No. 25 to No. 1. Mudslingers covers presidential, senatorial, gubernatorial, and mayoral races and chronicles the dirtiest, most low-down campaign tactics of all time. The list includes the presidential campaign of 1800, when the disputed outcome of the race between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had to be decided by the House of Representatives, and the election of 2004, in which George W. Bush beat John Kerry after one of the nastiest showdowns on record. The first round of negative campaigning in American history was driven by post-Civil War politics, the end of Reconstruction, an increasingly corrupt federal government, and a rabid partisan press. The current Golden Age of mudslinging and dirty politics is driven by huge increases in campaign spending, television advertising, decreased civility in public life, and a muckraking mass media. These fascinating stories from the annals of negative campaigning will entertain as well as educate, reminding us, the next time we are tempted to decry the current climate, that it was (almost) ever thus.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Prologue xiii
From Vietnam to Iraq
George W. Bush v. John Kerry, President, 2004
It's a Jungle out There
Upton Sinclair v. Frank Merriam, Governor, California, 1934
Senator Pothole versus ``Putzhead''
Alphonse D'Amato v. Charles Schumer, U.S. Senate, New York, 1998
Electronic Mudslinging
Lyndon Johnson v. Barry Goldwater, President, 1964
The Art of War
Jesse Helms v. Harvey Gantt, U.S. Senate, North Carolina, 1990
Homo Sapiens, Thespians, and Extroverts
George Smathers v. Claude Pepper, Democractic Primary, U.S. Senate, Florida, 1950
Vote for the Crook---It's Important
Edwin Edwards v. David Duke, Governor, Louisiana, 1991
Who's the Boss? Richard Daley and the Chicago Political Machine
Richard Daley v. Robert Merriam, Mayor, Chicago, 1955
Polluting the Garden State
Frank Lautenberg v. Pete Dawkins, U.S. Senate, New Jersey, 1988
God Save the Republic, Please
Rutherford Hayes v. Samuel Tilden, President, 1876
Rudy and the Jets
Rudolph Giuliani v. David Dinkins, Mayor, New York City, 1993
A Jersey Street Fight
Robert Torricelli v. Richard Zimmer, U.S. Senate, New Jersey, 1996
In This Corner, Little Lord Fauntleroy
John Tower v. Robert Krueger, U.S. Senate, Texas, 1978
Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Charles Robb v. Oliver North, U.S. Senate, Virginia, 1994
Claytie versus the Lady
Clayton Williams v. Ann Richards, Governor, Texas, 1990
Richard Nixon versus the United States of America
Richard Nixon v. George McGovern, President, 1972
``Bye-Bye Blackbird''
Harold Washington v. Bernard Epton, Mayor, Chicago, 1983
America, Meet Willie Horton
George H. W. Bush v. Michael Dukakis, President, 1988
Tricky Dick versus the Pink Lady
Richard Nixon v. Helen Gahagan Douglas, U.S. Senate, California, 1950
Grantism and Mr. Greeley
Ulysses S. Grant v. Horace Greeley, President, 1872
The First Campaign
Thomas Jefferson v. John Adams, President, 1800
A House Divided
Abraham Lincoln v. George McClellan, President, 1864
Mud, Mugwumps, and Motherhood
Grover Cleveland v. James G. Blaine, President, 1884
The Dirtiest Campaign in American History?
Andrew Jackson v. John Quincy Adams, President, 1828
George Wallace and the ``Negro Bloc Vote''
George Wallace v. Albert Brewer, Democratic Primary, Governor, Alabama, 1970
Epilogue 233(4)
Notes 237(10)
Bibliography 247(4)
Index 251

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