By Joseph Cummins
A historical past of Mud-Slinging, personality Assassination, And different Election suggestions Today’s political pundits exhibit surprise and sadness whilst applicants hotel to destructive campaigning. yet heritage unearths that smear campaigns are as American as apple pie. whatever for a Vote is an illustrated examine 200-plus years of soiled methods and undesirable habit in presidential elections, from George Washington to Barack Obama and John McCain. enable the name-calling commence! • 1836: Congressman Davy Crockett accuses candidate Martin Van Buren of secretly wearing women’s garments: “He is laced up in corsets!” • 1864: Presidential candidate George McClellan describes his opponent, Abraham Lincoln, as “nothing greater than a well-meaning baboon!” • 1960: Former president Harry Truman advises electorate that “if you vote for Richard Nixon, you must visit hell!” Full of sleazy anecdotes from each presidential election in usa history, Anything for a Vote is a precious reminder that historical past does repeat itself, that classes might be realized from the prior (though and they aren’t), and that our most renowned presidents will not be above reproach while it comes to the dirtiest video game of all—political campaigning.
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What happened—or didn’t happen—with the Federalist nominating process provides the only thing that really passes for suspense in the election of 1812. The Federalists decided not to nominate their own candidate. Instead, they gave their support to … a Republican. That Republican was DeWitt Clinton, mayor of New York City, nephew of the deceased George Clinton, and implacable enemy of James Madison. Like another Clinton after him, DeWitt figured he could be all things to all people. He would appeal as an antiwar candidate to Federalists, yet would also be attractive to New England Republicans sick of the “Virginia Dynasty” (that’s how many described the choke hold the South seemed to have on the White House after the Washington, Jefferson, and Madison administrations).
President” was finally settled on, although John Adams grumbled that the term president recalled such commoners as “presidents of fire companies and clubs”). But there was much more substantial fare on the presidential menu, including the ever-delicate matter of relations with Great Britain and how the administration was to react to the French Revolution (Washington was all for it, until the Terror brought up the fearful specter of mob rule). As Father of the Nation, Washington also had to deal with quarreling kids.
HIMSELF (AGAIN) 1796 JOHN ADAMS VS. THOMAS JEFFERSON 1800 THOMAS JEFFERSON VS. JOHN ADAMS 1804 THOMAS JEFFERSON VS. CHARLES PINCKNEY 1808 JAMES MADISON VS. CHARLES PINCKNEY 1812 JAMES MADISON VS. DEWITT CLINTON 1816 JAMES MONROE VS. RUFUS KING 1820 JAMES MONROE VS. HIMSELF 1824 JOHN QUINCY ADAMS VS. ANDREW JACKSON 1828 ANDREW JACKSON VS. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS 1832 ANDREW JACKSON VS. HENRY CLAY 1836 MARTIN VAN BUREN VS. WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON 1840 WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON VS. MARTIN VAN BUREN 1844 JAMES POLK VS.
Anything for a Vote by Joseph Cummins