April 23rd, 2008
10:26 AM ET
12 years ago

NY Times slams Clinton's 'negativity'

 Clinton celebrates her Pennsylvania victory with Gov. Ed Rendell.

Clinton celebrates her Pennsylvania victory with Gov. Ed Rendell.

(CNN) - Fresh off her victory in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton is facing a stinging rebuke of her campaign tactics from her hometown paper, The New York Times.

In the paper's Wednesday edition, the editorial board which endorsed Clinton's White House bid earlier this year says the New York senator's "negativity" is doing "harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election."

"The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it," the board writes.

The paper finds fault in Clinton's latest campaign ad, which includes an image of Osama bin Laden, and asks, "Who do you think has what it takes?"

"Mrs Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11," they write, adding that it is a tactic that is "torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook."

"Mrs. Clinton does more than just turn off voters who don’t like negative campaigning," the editorial also states. "She undercuts the rationale for her candidacy that led this page and others to support her: that she is more qualified, right now, to be president than Mr. Obama."

The paper also says Barack Obama deserves some of the blame for the negative tone. "He is increasingly rising to Mrs. Clinton’s bait, undercutting his own claims that he is offering a higher more inclusive form of politics."

But the editorial makes clear the paper thinks most of the blames lies with Clinton. "If she is ever to have a hope of persuading [superdelegates] to come back to her side, let alone win over the larger body of voters, she has to call off the dogs."

soundoff (917 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    And by spending 12 million he bled out the rest of Clinton's money, pushed her campaign into debt, and increased his nightly haul. Now Clinton has to come out and mention her website and beg for donations – it paints the picture that her campaign is in bad shape. That money wasn't wasted, its called campaigning. Just because your candidate can't spend that kind of cash doesn't mean Obama shouldn't, some of you guys are getting to be ridiculous.

    And right now the vote margin is 8.6, just because CNN can't manage to publish more accurate data doesnt mean that it was a double digit win. Obama did a good job, it was not his turf, but that didnt stop him from getting every vote he could. If Clinton would have fought for delegates like Obama has, instead of following Mark Penn's advice, she might very well be the presumptive nominee right now. As is though, shes really not going to win, it just can't mathematically happen. Good candidate, horrible, horrible campaign. She also should have had surrogates out there trying to drum up funds, devoting money-grubbing time in the middle of a victory speech is just foolish.

    April 23, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  2. Corbin

    I believe the title "NY Times slams Clinton's 'negativity'," might just be CNN reporting the opinion of the Editorial Board, and not giving a very biased opinion. Perhaps it is simply recognizing the irony of the situation, not "...trying to bring her down," as Jay in Kansas stated? Am I going insane? Perhaps I am just drawing to the conclusion that through this process of discussing and arguing about every detail in this Presidential race, we have become bitter and distasteful towards each other? I know this may sound cheesy or cliche, but can't we all just get along? Can't we listen to one another respectfully without spewing rude and frankly inconsiderate comments? I am about to become of voting age and I have not decided who I wish to vote for, but I can certainly say I will not vote for a person whose supporters yell and belittle people.

    April 23, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  3. Levar

    Look folks.. there is no way she can win. If you dont believe me check out CNN's Delegate Calculator. Give Hillary every remaining state by 55 percent and 53 percent of remaining superdelegates. It is virtually impossible.

    Right Now we should be uniting behind a candidate but noooooooo... Hillary would rather tear this party and country down. What a selfish lady you are.

    If you are a Hillary supporter please understand what I mean and please show your support now for Barack Obama. Lets stop paying attention to what demographic voted for whom, this kind of politics is what is wrong with the media, but lets not be sidetracked from real issues for the remainder of this campaign please, please, please.

    Obama Is Our Nominee WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!!

    April 23, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  4. Lucas Hart

    Darn Negative is "God damm America-Bomb the Pentagon-Rezko Mafia – Cling your guns" thug called Obama.
    NYT,MSNC and CNN were bought by San Francisco neveu rich dirty money and they are losers. now and then. Just wait for next contests!

    Hillary will bamboozle you all!
    Lets move on!!

    The White House is not for sale!!! Nor the voters!

    Spin this!

    April 23, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  5. Obama be da Prez!

    Okay, you all know that the only way Clinton can get the nomination is to disenfranchise all the voters who have given Obama the popular vote and majority delegates and twice the state victories, right?

    Enjoy tonight. She won't get the nomination. He made a point of telling it tonight – Independents, new voters and converts voted for him overwhelmingly...they aren't die hard Democrats like we are, so they have no reason to make a special trip to vote for anyone but the person they signed on to vote for. Combine them with the Blacks who will feel disenfranchised and Obama supporters who feel cheated and you got your new little old President McCain.

    The only change you will get is the extra apron and paper cap they give you for that part time job you will be working to try to make ends meet.

    Obama O-8!

    April 23, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  6. Andrea, Atlanta, GA

    REALITY: Many in PA had already decided their vote from the beginning, based on upbringing, comfort in the past, and YES, RACIAL COMFORT, with Obama being k(new) on the scene, in addition to all of the hype and negative Obama/OSAMA publicity, some actually understand the dynamics and can realize HOW Clinton advanced past her opponent in PA. It was already in the bag.

    REALITY: Senator Obama still has a comfortable lead, and rightly so.

    REALITY: Senator Hillary Clinton WILL lie about just about anything that lends toward her credibilty. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, will evade any questions that demand clarity.

    REALITY: The ability to interact and see evrything as we have been given the ability to through the WWW, etc. DEMANDS that we OPEN our EYES and see what is really needed. That equates to an awakening to what we all NEED as people! STRENGTH, and TRUE representation from one who we can TRULY say, "I am truly an AMERICAN citizen that represents ALL AMERICANS from all walks and paths of AMERICAN LIFE!"

    GO OBAMA 08' & 12!!

    April 23, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  7. Dave

    Let us not forget the powerful democratic leaders were behind, including Ed Rendell and she was brought up in PA – a strong factor that cannot be ignored.

    April 23, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  8. Salin

    Senator Clinton,

    Indiana and North Carolina is ahead. Do not forget to put the negative campaign over there too. It works for you.

    Hillary + negative campaign + anything= voctory.

    April 23, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  9. Barb

    I am happy she won by 10 points. Don't think she did it dirty - just effectively. The NYT is wrong!

    April 23, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  10. Mickey

    Sometimes internet comments just astound me with their idiocy but sorry, Texican your's reigns supreme. First, you talk about the Liberal Media like it's some monolithic blob that makes stuff up about Hillary. Never mind the fact that she has consistently lied and made outright damaging and hypocritical attacks against Obama. Nest, you talk about "all the money (NYT) has put on Obama..." If you remember correctly, they were just about the only newspaper to support Hillary before Super Tuesday. They're simply admitting how wrong they were

    April 23, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  11. Educated Black Women

    VOTE FOR THE PARTY PEOPLE! BARACK HAS THE MOST DELEGATES! WE WANT A DEMOCRAT IN OFFICE. IF YOU ARE IGNORANT ENOUGH TO NOT VOTE FOR HIM IN THE GENERAL ELECTION THEN LET'S GIVE MCCAIN THE PRESIDENCY!

    April 23, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  12. Judy

    Congratulations to Hillary! Lighten up NYT – you act like you have never seen intense political campaigns before. While you may have endorsed her, your columnists other than Paul Krugman have torn her down every chance they get – pretty ugly stuff from Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich to mention a couple – that's pretty negative and personal. Way to go Pennsylvania – you really came through!

    April 23, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  13. ojo

    12 million could not buy PA, but it certainly cut Clinton's 20-point lead in half in less than a month.

    As much as the media moans and groans, negative campaigns always work. They are a staple of American politics.

    April 23, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  14. Joe In El Lay

    No wonder the NY Times will be out of business soon...good for lining my bird cage, that's about it. What crap...attack Hillary aftr a 10-POINT WIN! Idiots! If she spent 12 million it would have been 25!!!

    WAKE UP, or get ready for John W. as prez....

    April 23, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  15. Ashwin

    Hillary,

    You're killing the party and more importantly the chance for the US to regain its standing and respect in the world with every day you stay in this race. all the negativity has made me sick to my stomach and confirms what many believe that you will do anything to get elected. you fear monger in your ads. you claim obama is whining when you yourself said "should we get mr. obama a pillow" in the debate. BE REAL. do whats good for the campaign, for the general election in november, and for the country that you apparently love so much.

    April 23, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  16. Obama be da Prez!

    She knows that negative works for her people. Apparently, that's what her people relate to.

    April 23, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  17. Fran Says

    Fear is a powerful tool. It is usually best wielded by the weak. We've gotta give it to you Hill . . . you wield it well!

    Hillary's sword of fear is cutting the ones who are afraid to take a step outside of the ordinary and become involved in something bigger than themselves.

    Hillary is taking us to a place where we will all stop and wonder about the choices that have been made. It's time to stop dealing fear and mis-statements. If you have to embellish your accomplishments, what have you accomplished??

    April 23, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  18. charles

    People are missing a point hear concerning the money Obama has spent. they keep saying he outspent her and lost. what exactly did you want him to do seat around and clap hands. she is the one who should be having problems becoz she's been around the business 35 years so she says and still finds her self behind a rookie. this shows how shallow minded she is with her supporters. and also this is all the republicans want. how come sudenly she is clean no more cabbage coming from the GOP. thats how blind some people are. the republicans are dancing around yr heads with the media, by the time you realise it will be too late.how come every republican even KARL ROVE is seeing her as a nice person. Wake up democrats the republicans with the media they control are spinning yr heads. They know she is easy to bit come november. if you think im wrong wait she gets the nomination she will be slaughtered.after all she wont be disapointed coz she is republican in disguise.

    April 23, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  19. Ernest

    Better late than never. For so long the media seemed to wink at her "kitchen sink", "scorched earth", extremely negative, unfounded, profoundly disingenuous tactics and comments, such as "there's nothing to base that (Obama being called a Muslim) on, as far as I know". Everyone acted as if "all's fair in love-n-war", so may the best dirty trickster win.

    Even if you accept that the ends justify the means, both the ends and the means are mean and nasty with her. And the focus seems to be on the entertainment value in the media. "Look! The haggard, shrill lady is making a comeback against insurmountable odds! Never mind the Nixonesque methods, get some comments on lapel pins and third-party quotes taken out of context!"

    A wrong turn and a sad new low on the path toward democracy.

    April 23, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  20. Unshrub

    A big wop-de-do, she won 6 more delegates then Obama. Why are all the news making this sound like a big win. At this rate she will need to win 30 more states to catch up to Obama. Everyone says she needs to win by 20% to catch up and she never gets half of that, but the DNC lets her keep going to destroy Obama. It must be the DNC death wish.

    April 23, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  21. richard - Minneapolis

    In a state where Hillary was expected to get 20% 6 weeks ago, it is remarkable that Obama's ads and appearances could cut that lead to less than half. Do not bet Hillary's nomination on PA! As people get to know Barrack, they'll come around.

    And for Jay in Kansas above, Barrack is not negotiating on "hope and change". He's stated his willingness to do something towards resolving differences that noone presently except Jimmy Carter has been willing (or able) to do – TALK TO THE PEOPLE WITH WHOM THERE IS DISAGREEMENT. Obviously, cowboy diplomacy doesn't work and there is NO conflict resolution process that doesn't call for the engagement of the opposing parties. Barrack Obama should get kudos for that! We will never settle our differences if we refuse to speak to those with whom we differ.

    April 23, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  22. DDowling

    I do not like Hiliary's recent tactics, nor her vote for Iran, or her pledge to demolish iran if they attach Israel but she is far far better than cult of the personality Obama and Bush lite McCain

    April 23, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  23. MylanNO.H.I.O.

    The bottom line is her campaign is broke, the margins for her need to be bigger than PA from now on, and worst of all she was exposed as the negative former republican she is. The kitchen sink strategy is done, and if she tries it in the upcoming states she will lose.

    The thing that most bugs me about her still being in the race is, her only hope are the superdelegates. That means that she is running to overturn the will of the people. That is a dangerous game. To tell the majority of Dems that their vote counts for nothing, and then expecting them to in turn vote for her in November is naive. It would guarantee a republican win in November, and cost the party important seats.

    IT IS OVER!

    BTW, the Obama nicknames Hill supporters come up with are cute, and just a little childish. It's like you're saying, "Hey look, I twisted Obama's name. That means he can't be good enough for President. Yea, go Hill!"

    Yeah, cute.

    April 23, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  24. Trisha, Monsey NY

    God Bless you Obama, you did well tonight! Hillary go home and take Bill with you, America does not need you and your awful crew of trashy politics!
    I watch sadly tonight while Penn made the wrong decision again, look people The world is laughing at us to even consider Hillary as our president!!

    Obama/ Richardson!

    April 23, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  25. antler

    Wow, all the Hilary fans are out in force here... Why can't you accept reality? She's only damaging the party.

    After all that, she's still behind. LOL.

    April 23, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
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