By Joseph Cummins
A heritage of Mud-Slinging, personality Assassination, And different Election ideas Today’s political pundits show surprise and unhappiness whilst applicants inn to detrimental campaigning. yet historical past unearths that smear campaigns are as American as apple pie. something 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. allow 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 electorate that “if you vote for Richard Nixon, you should visit hell!” Full of sleazy anecdotes from each presidential election in usa history, Anything for a Vote is a priceless reminder that heritage does repeat itself, that classes might be discovered from the previous (though and they aren’t), and that our most renowned presidents are usually not above reproach whilst it comes to the dirtiest video game of all—political campaigning.
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In fact, many Federalists came to him, offering their backing—anything to keep Jefferson out—and Burr’s chances of winning rose exponentially. , to vote for the president. All members were there, even one who was so ill he had to be carried on a stretcher for two miles through the snow and then placed in a bed in an adjoining chamber. Vice President Jefferson, who was the Senate president, counted the electoral ballots and certified the vote at seventy-three apiece for him and Burr. Then the House deliberated on who would be the next president.
Both parties threw picnics and barbecues, where they plied voters with huge amounts of alcohol. At a Republican dinner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, everyone drank sixteen toasts—one for each state of the Union—before tying into a half-ton of beef and pork. Although Adams held out hope for a great victory, most politicians at the time considered Jefferson almost a sure winner. The ubiquitous Alexander Hamilton, Adams’s nemesis, tried to make sure of it. , President of the United States, fifty-four pages of what one historian has called unremitting vilification.
A few mischievous Federalists even spread the rumor that Jefferson was dead, knowing full well that it was actually a Monticello slave by the same name who was deceased. The vicious sallies increased, and by fall both parties had reached a peak of character assassination. The Republicans, in particular, had discovered the power of the press—their attacks ran in single-page circulars, newspapers, and pamphlets as long as fifty pages. In one of the first attempts at true national organization, Jefferson’s party set up Committees of Correspondence that were responsible for producing these broadsides and disseminating them to voters.
Anything for a Vote by Joseph Cummins