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

12
SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE

Charles Robb v. Oliver North, U.S. Senate, Virginia, 1994

The 1994 election year was very memorable. It was the year of the "Contract with America," the Clinton health-care debacle, and a Republican majority in Congress for the first time in a generation. It also featured a good many tough, competitive congressional races, none more so than the campaign for U.S. Senate in Virginia between incumbent Democrat Charles Robb, Republican nominee Oliver North, and independent candidate Marshall Coleman.

The race attracted national attention for obvious reasons. It was expected to be a slugfest, but it also had star appeal. Oliver North was the star witness in the Iran-Contra hearings of 1986, during which he became something of a celebrity. He was later convicted on federal charges relating to the Iran-Contra scandal, but that conviction was overturned on appeal because North had been granted immunity during the congressional hearings. Though to many this was a technicality, having no criminal conviction, he was cleared to run for federal office.

Both North and Robb were damaged goods, politically speaking. When Robb was first elected to the U.S. Senate, there were whispers of a future presidential run. He seemed to have it all. He was a former marine, had been a popular governor of Virginia, and even had a political pedigree—he was married to one of former president Lyndon Johnsons daughters. But then the rumors and allegations began to surface about drug use, adultery—the stuff of which negative campaigns are made.

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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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