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

By Kerwin C. Swint | Go to book overview

13
IN THIS CORNER, LITTLE
LORD FAUNTLEROY

John Tower v. Robert Krueger, U.S. Senate, Texas, 1978

My kind of Texan doesn't shake hands with that kind of man.

—John Tower

I know it is Texas, but this one got really nasty. I do not think these two men liked each other very much. John Tower was a three-term U.S. senator seeking reelection in a state that had become accustomed to tough, bare-handed political fights. His opponent was Bob Krueger, a two-term U.S. congressman representing west Texas.

The thing that Tower and Krueger had in common was that they were both college professors before they were elected to office. But that's where the similarity ends. Tower was short, feisty, folksy, and plainspoken; Krueger was tall, reserved, and rather urbane for a Texas politician. Tower was married with several children; Krueger was single. Tower had been a political science professor; Kruger was a scholar of Shakespearean literature.

Tower, in particular, enjoyed highlighting the differences between the two of them. During the course of the campaign, some Tower supporters even raised "questions" about the fact that Krueger had never served in the military (important in a state like Texas) and, at age forty-three, had never been married.1

As the only Republican elected statewide, Tower presented a big and tempting target for Texas Democrats. This was especially true because in the Senate, Tower became a pillar of the Republican's conservative wing, and

-103-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Prologue xiii
  • 25- From Vietnam to Iraq 1
  • 24- It''s a Jungle out There 11
  • 23- Senator Pothole versus "Putzhead" 23
  • 22- Electronic Mudslinging 31
  • 21- The Art of War 39
  • 20- Homo Sapiens, Thespians, and Extroverts 47
  • 19- Vote for the Crook—it''s Important 55
  • 18- Who''s the Boss? Richard Daley and the Chicago Political Machine 63
  • 17- Polluting the Garden State 71
  • 16- God Save the Republic, Please 79
  • 15- Rudy and the Jets 87
  • 14- A Jersey Street Fight 95
  • 13- In This Corner, Little Lord Fauntleroy 103
  • 12- Sex, Lies, and Videotape 113
  • 11- Claytie versus the Lady 123
  • 10- Richard Nixon versus the United States of America 133
  • 9- "Bye-Bye Blackbird" 143
  • 8- America, Meet Willie Horton 153
  • 7- Tricky Dick versus the Pink Lady 163
  • 6- Grantism and Mr. Greeley 173
  • 5- The First Campaign 183
  • 4- A House Divided 193
  • 3- Mud, Mugwumps, and Motherhood 203
  • 2- The Dirtiest Campaign in American History? 213
  • 1- George Wallace and the "Negro Bloc Vote" 223
  • Epilogue 233
  • Notes 237
  • Bibliography 247
  • Index 251
  • About the Author 255
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