Negative political campaign ads and political smearing is thought to have started in Washinton DC during the 1988 presidential election between candidate George H W Bush and Mike Dukakis. A guy by the name of Lee Atwater took extremem measures to make sure that Dukakis didn’t stand a chance. And so he didn’t. But in fact, political smearing goes back many decades. Here are the top 10 negative political campaign ads and smears in U.S and Canadian political history. Enjoy!
1. Hillary Clinton TV ad – 3 am Whitehouse Phone Call
Used in Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the primary elections against senator Barack Obama. A classic example of negative campaigning where the ad portrays Hillary as the better choice for president as she, unlike Obama” already knows” the political game and military etc.
2. Willie Horton political ad 1988 – is Dukakis soft on crime?
In the run for president 1988, George H W Bush, had numerous negative campaigning tricks up his sleeve, thanks to wing man Lee Atwater. In a successful attempt in smearing democratic candidate Mike Dukakis, this ad was broadcatsed nationwide to portray Dukakis as soft on crime. Appearing in the ad is the imprisoned criminal Willie who had, supported by Dukakis, received several weekend passes from prison, During one of those weekends Horton assaults a couple, severely raping a woman etc. This ad campaign is thought to greatly have affected Dukakis defeat in the presidential election to come.
3. McCain compares Obama with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears
More than 3 months before the election McCains staff launched a smearing tv ad accusing Obama of only being interested in international fame rather than serving his country as president.
4. Jerry Springer for Governor: Self-smearing
Jerry Springer has a different take of negative campaigning as he when running for governor in 1980, admits that he has bought sex from a prostitute some years back. The fact that the infamous tv-show host Jerry Springer is even thinking of running for politics is hilarious. Don’t know if he won though? Prob not.
5. The wrong kind – congressman Ron Kind
A negative campaign ad that doesn’t bother to sugar cote. Big red letters and open criticism.
6. Stop the spawning where our children play
7. Canadian Prime minster Jean Chretien “Face Ad”
In 1993 The Conservative Prograssive party launched an ad attack at the current running for prime minister Jean Chretien, focusing the entire ad on close up shops on the “physical defect” the candidate was said to have. That’s low!
8. Stephane Dion gets pooped on by puffin
Just this year smear ad against candidate Stephane Dion in the Canadian federal election showed the candidate getting pooped on by an animated puffin. The conservative party later apologized for the ad but still published it on their website.
9. The Daisy Girl ad 1964
Ad used in American presidential election 1964 pro Lyndon Johnson. The daisy girl commercial argued that if candidate Barry Goldwater would be president he would basically blow away USA with an H-bomb.
10. Thomas Jefferson negative political ad – only 200 years too late
Arguing that if Jefferson would be voted president today we could expect pure evil.