The Nastiest Elections In American History

22 05 2008

I rather slammed this morning but I had to share this list from Neatorama about the nastiest elections in history.

Here’s an example from the campaigning files of Thomas Jefferson vs. John Adams:

In case you’re wondering exactly how down-and-dirty these campaigns got, consider the fact that this is the only election in history where a vice president has run against the president he was currently serving under. You can imagine that things were a little tense in the White House in the months leading up to the election.

Jefferson hired a writer to pen insults rather than dirty his own hands (at least at first). One of his most creative lines said that Adams was a “hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

Wow. They don’t write insults like that anymore.

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3 responses

22 05 2008
Christian

Oh, that’s not even the worst of it. The campaign against Andrew Jackson was probably the worst ever. During that campaign, Jackson’s opponents published the Coffin handbills, notorious political ads featuring coffins representing an “account of some of the Bloddy Deeds of Gen. Jackson.” The handbill accused Jackson of murder, called his mother was a prostitute and said his marriage was an adulteress affair.

22 05 2008
Campaigns Just Don’t Wordsmith Quite Like That Anymore : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

[…] Newscoma reminds us of a political campaign in which on side called the other candidate a “hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” […]

22 05 2008
LeBlanc

Imagine what Jefferson might have said if he had never been best friends with Adams?…Oh the humanity.

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