Anything for a Vote by Joseph Cummins

By Joseph Cummins

A historical past of Mud-Slinging, personality Assassination, And different Election thoughts  Today’s political pundits exhibit surprise and sadness whilst applicants hotel to adverse campaigning. yet background 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 citizens that “if you vote for Richard Nixon, you need to visit hell!” Full of sleazy anecdotes from each presidential election in usa history, Anything for a Vote is a necessary reminder that historical past does repeat itself, that classes might be discovered from the earlier (though and so they aren’t), and that our most renowned presidents aren't above reproach while it comes to the dirtiest video game of all—political campaigning.

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Cheered one Republican Party newspaper. Another writer declared: “Here ends the 18th century. ” There was just one small problem. By the end of December, it became clear that Republican candidates Jefferson and Burr had actually tied for the presidency at seventy-three votes each (Adams received only sixty-five). The problem with the two-vote system now became more apparent than ever. In past elections, Republican electors might have “wasted” a handful of votes on Adams or Pinckney, or even a minor candidate, just to make sure Burr did not receive an equal number as Jefferson (ensuring his position as VP).

New York Senator Rufus King got the nod for vice president. THE CAMPAIGN Everyone could see that Jefferson and the Republicans had a lock on the election, but the Federalists—desperate to salvage votes in their base of New England—fought as hard as they could. The usual anti-Jefferson slurs were trotted out—he was an atheist, he had an affair with his slave, and so on. THE WINNER: THOMAS JEFFERSON It was absolutely no contest: 162 votes for Jefferson, 14 for Pinckney. The Federalists carried only two states: Connecticut and Delaware.

The 1800 contest between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson can be ranked as one of the top five dirtiest elections of all time—and all because of two reasons: One: It is hard to think of two parties in the history of American politics who hated and vilified each other more than John Adams’s Federalists and Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans. Two: For the first and last time in American history, a president was running against his own vice president. What a way to begin a century. THE CANDIDATES FEDERALIST: JOHN ADAMS The chief foreign policy issue of Adams’s presidency was America’s relationship with France.

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