ton used fear appeals in almost half of his ads and increased his use of source-credibility appeals (his challenger ads featured very few of them). As the incumbent, Clinton used more of the typical incumbent strategies, such as emphasizing his accomplishments, emphasizing his competency, using the symbolic trappings of the presidency, using an above-the-trenches posture, and speaking to traditional values. He also used two challenger strategies: attacking the record of the opponent and taking the offensive position on issues.
For Clinton, it is hard to see the interaction between personal style and political style because his videostyle remains almost the same from one campaign to the next. Clinton's challenger ads feature lots of negative advertising and attacks on his opponent, but this is not surprising because attacking the incumbent is a tried and true challenger strategy. Clinton's negative advertising is higher than other challengers, and perhaps this is because of the 1988 campaign in which Dukakis was criticized for responding too late to the attacks in Bush's advertising. This does not, however, explain why he used so many negative ads as the incumbent (and in the case of the 1996 election, his lead in the polls was always fairly good). Certainly Clinton's challenger ads had set a precedent for using negative advertising; therefore, Clinton (unlike Jimmy Carter) did not violate any expectations of his behavior when, as the incumbent, he once again used lots of negative advertising. Clinton's challenger and incumbent ads seem to reflect a basic style (negative and issue based) that was modified in 1996 to reflect his new political position as incumbent (the use of more incumbent strategies as the incumbent) and to address some of the circumstances of the campaign (the use of more source-credibility appeals because of character questions in 1996).