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

3
MUD, MUGWUMPS, AND MOTHERHOOD

Grover Cleveland v. James G. Blaine, President, 1884

The 1870s and the 1880s gave us some of the most bitter and hateful political campaigns ever. America's Gilded Age was indeed a golden age for negative campaigning. The 1884 presidential contest between the Democrat, Grover Cleveland, and his Republican opponent, James G. Blaine, was one of the nastiest, most intensely personal campaigns ever.

In some ways, this campaign pitted scandal against scandal. Would voters prefer "Slippery Jim" Blaine, as his enemies called him, who was accused of financial wrong-doing and telling a boatload of lies, or Cleveland, the governor of New York, accused of every moral failure in the book by his opponents?


TIME FOR THEM TO GO?

Since the Civil War, the Republican Party had pretty much run the show, controlling the presidency and Congress for most of the 1860s and 1870s. But by the 1880s, the Democrats were staging a comeback. In the midterm elections of 1882, the Democrats took a majority in the House of Representatives and nearly did so in the Senate. The Republicans were divided and lacked effective leadership.

The economy was unstable, prone to boom periods in the industrial North followed by recession. Because they were in power, Republicans received most of the criticism. The incumbent president, Chester Arthur, was a Republican, but was seen by most as a caretaker president. Arthur had sue-

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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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