Saturday, November 1, 2008

You Think This Election Is Dirty?

So every four years somebody tells me "This is the dirtiest election in history." But it never is the dirtiest election in history, most of the time it doesn't even rank in the top ten. So for all those people out there that think the mudslinging in this election is bad, here are some Presidential Election that say otherwise.

John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson (1800)- In 1800 current president John Adams ran against his own best friend and Vice President Thomas Jefferson (during this period who ever got the second most votes became V.P. even if they were from opposite parties). It got dirty quickly. Jefferson's camp called Adams a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." Adam's camp responded claiming Jefferson was "a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw" and had had a child with one of his slaves (which later turned out to be true). And it only got dirtier from there.

John Q. Adams vs. Andrew Jackson (1828)- This election was a rematch of the election of 1824. In that election, no single presidential nominee (there were five) won a majority of votes and the Election was decided in the House of Representatives. Although Andrew Jackson had one the most votes out of the five, John Q. Adams got the Presidency amid claims of a corrupt bargain between him and fellow nominee Henry Clay (who then became Adam's secretary of state). In 1828, the two candidates came out swinging. Jackson claimed that while Adams had been American Ambassador to Russia he had procured girls for the sexual services of the Tsar, basically calling him a pimp. Adam's camp called Jackson an adulterer because it was unclear if his wife had been divorced at the time she married Jackson. Further the Adam's camp attacked Jackson's wife calling her a bigamist and totally defacing her.

Grover Cleveland vs. James G. Blaine (1884)- In one of the few elections in history where the incumbent president did not run (and was able to), the two men who actually got the nominations leveled some pretty serious accusations. Blaine's camp broke the story that Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate son with a young widow and the deserted her (not entirely true. There is no proof the 10 year old was his son, but Cleveland had provided financial support). Cleveland leveled charges that Blaine was flamboyant and corrupt; a charge that was mostly true as Blaine had taken a 64,000 bribe when he had been Speaker of the House years earlier.


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