Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Meaning of Negative Politics

The Clinton campaign is denouncing Obama for daring to criticize Hillary. “It’s unfortunate that Senator Obama, who entered this campaign promising to elevate the tone of our politics and to run a positive campaign, is choosing now so early in the process to attack others,” Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson told MSNBC. “I don’t think that’s the kind of politics that Democratic primary voters are looking for or what they were promised by Senator Obama.” But Obama never promised to roll over and never counterattack against his opponents. Criticizing your competition isn't a negative campaign. The key issue is that Obama hasn't taken any cheap shots at Hillary (the same can't be said for Hillary and her frequent attacks on Obama). Negative politics means lying about your opponents, or denouncing them for irrelevant reasons. But the standard give-and-take of political campaigning is not a reduction in the tone of our politics.

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About Me

Author of "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason," ( Also the author of "Barack Obama: This Improbable Quest" and "President Barack Obama: A More Perfect Union (, along with "Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom and Its Enemies" ( and "Newt Gingrich: Capitol Crimes and Misdemeanors".