April 23rd, 2008
10:26 AM ET
11 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. Darnette

    Clinton 's tactics shows that she is selfish and would do anything to win versus putting the best interest of the entire USA above her own.

    April 23, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  2. Marie Clinton

    Let them eat Waffle!

    April 23, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  3. Math 101

    Mrs Clinton did better than expected and deserves her 15 delegate net gain but it only closes the race down to a 155 delegate lead by Obama. Well at the very least she has bought herself a few more weeks of legitimate campaigning until the next contest.

    April 23, 2008 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  4. mlb

    Oh, please... If PA has "spoken," then what they've said is that they are divided. 3 delegates??!! Obama is still clearly the candidate of choice for the NATION. Let's stop the waste of millions of $$$ already.

    April 23, 2008 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  5. medi

    Hillary is very destructive and decisive person. Her husband was a president and she wants to be the next president; however, she trying to win by any means. What greedy person she is.

    April 23, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  6. seah

    Obama has been negative and the worse and dirty playing canidate since the primaries began. They let him slide, the whole time. Afraid of the race card.

    He condemned and blamed the government, Bush, McCain and Hillary, every day of his campaign, for everything wrong in the world.
    His blame and shame games was endless, between the propaganda, the lies, twisted facts, stories he made up.

    What has' t the man lied about? Geesh he lied on his family, everyone of his friends, all caught on the media.

    The media has given him the most favorable coverage, headlines and discussion. When some of the stuff, they would of ripped the other canidates apart for.

    Hillary is like a Like a breath of fresh air, compared to what every one has seen of Obama.

    Only thing it can be is the High power democrats and the DNC playing god again and political fixers. putting on the pressure.

    Or the Media is running scare of someone.Do they think the Public is stupid?

    Clinton has been positive for the Democratic Party and the Country.

    April 23, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  7. andy

    Do the majority of the people in PA really deserve Obama? Unfortunately, they don't. Too bad for them.

    April 23, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  8. Dienekis

    The NY Times commentary reflects the gravity of the disappointment that the recent direction of the Democratic campaign has caused. Considering that the paper criticizes both candidates, and primarily the very candidate it has endorsed, just understresses this point.

    These elections are about putting a stop to and reverting the damage that 8 years of irresponsible, divisive and egocentric policies have inflicted on this country. Failing to keep the focus on that, and more disturbingly, employing campaign tactics that are based on the same elements that characterize those policies, may only be perceived as a negative omen for the future of this country.

    April 23, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  9. Max Neely

    Yeah ok, talk is cheap. Withdraw your endorsement of Clinton, and endorse Obama. You can endorse Clinton all you want, but. He "has what it takes", will be "ready on day one", and *gasp*, he doesn't "use tactics straight outta Karl Rove's playbook".

    It's apparent that the New York TImes both wants to criticize and endorse Clinton, sending a mixed message full of mixed signals, and continue to prolong this election (circus).

    Drop Clinton, endorse Obama, and let's win the 2008 elections!

    April 23, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  10. John

    Senator Santorum said it . The people here in Pa are not able to tell the truth. The Governor said it "Whites are not ready to vote for a black " in Pa. Why is it so hard to be honest. If the blacks vote for Clinton they are ok, but if they vote for Obama it's because he is black. Yet I haven't heard one person say that woman voting for Clinton are sexist.

    April 23, 2008 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  11. Scott

    I have seen these tactics before... changing the goalposts, inventing new language – 'automatic delegates' (or was that 'homicide bomber'). And if this twisting of rules and grabbing power from the hands of traditional fairness itself is what we reward, then what will be her usage of power in the White House? Will she take Bush's lead on signing statements and Presidential power grabs? So far she seems highly unlikely to be the one who will roll these abuses back.

    April 23, 2008 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  12. Tim Rivers

    First off, Congrats to Sen. Clinton on her win in PA tonight. I am an Obama supporter but can, like my candidate, offer praise where it is due.

    Now, to the issues at hand...He is STILL leading her in every category and she is still mathmateically out of the race but that's for another time. She has DEFINITELY run a more negative campaign and her approval numbers reflect that. How can someone with a 60%+ negative rating unite the country or the party? It just isn't possible. I am certain that the superdelegates will look at that number heavily.

    As for her "double-digit win" – most every pundit said that she needed to win by 20-25% for it to make any difference in the final outcome so that has not changed any. She still is lagging WAY behind in pledged delegates and popular vote totals and that is HIGHLY unlikely to change.

    As for the outspending Clinton 2 or 3 to 1, that also had the desired effect. He can afford to spend that much, she cannot. Trying to keep pace with him in ad buys has bankrupted her campaign. So she raised $500,000 tonight. That would give her around 9.7 million available for the next primaries and she is still 10.3 million in debt. Again, she is still running in the red, still not paying her bills (the small business people she supposedly stands up for but stiffs instead) and still has to mount another ad offensive from an in debt position. Not a good place for her campaign to be.

    As to her foreign policy "experience", as she has so eloquently pointed out many times, travelling to another country does not foreign policy experience make. That point is moot. As First Lady, she negotiated NOTHING. She has NO FOREIGN POLICY EXPERIENCE! PERIOD!

    Again, congratulations to Sen. Clinton on her win in PA but, overall, it just delayed the inevitable!

    Go Obama!

    April 23, 2008 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  13. Sean

    Of course Clinton was going to win PA, she had the demographics on her side: 58% of voters were women, and 32% of voters were 60+. The fact that she only won by a 10% margin with these kinds of demographics is nothing special on her part, no matter how she'll try to spin it.

    Is she going to keep going after she doesn't gain any delegates in Indiana and North Carolina? Polls suggest she's slated to lose ground, which theoretically should end her campaign there.

    The comment about the "tactic torn from Karl Rove's playbook" is dead on and was something that needed to be said, I'm glad someone in the media had the guts to say it. It's no coincidence that Obama is leading the college graduate demographic. Think about it.

    April 23, 2008 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  14. Easy

    Her hands are filthy. They've tainted the democratic party's blood. The only thing the Clintons are going to achieve is another 8 years of republican rule. Thanks Bill.

    April 23, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  15. Teresa, Georgia

    Thank you New York Times, for standing up and taking the high road...acknowledging the near destruction of the democratic party – – perpretrated by HRC and her campaign (via fearmongering and negative attacks). Now, if only the Superdelegates would stand up and take the high road and acknowledge that HRC will not serve the interests of the democrats but that she is only motivated by self-interest and ego.

    April 23, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  16. Mike

    For once in my life I want to see a ticket that didn't have the name Bush or Clinton on it.

    I will never vote for another Bush or Clinton.

    Clinton = more of the same. McCain is better than Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  17. entspeak

    Nope, couldn't "buy" PA, but certainly knocked Hillary off her altar there. 10% is half of what she was supposed to win by. She's done nothing but prolong the inevitable.

    April 23, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  18. jim h.

    well, i usually have only the greatest respect for the nytimes, but we all make mistakes; that normally august entity being no exception.

    i wonder which dogs the nytimes thinks hillary should call off? the ones chasing osama bin laden? or do they think "the dogs" are chasing them?

    perhaps "they" should just sit down, have a nice cup of hot tea, try to calm down and relax a bit, and retain/regain firmer grip on reality.

    experience still does matter and $12 million failed to buy the pennsylvania voters. and yes, virginia, even more "harm" will likely occur before the november election. that seems to be the nature of the political process. the obama campaign, notwithstanding whatever other myths they are laboring under, has hardly proved otherwise. by now i fear i am belaboring the already obvious.

    April 23, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  19. SAGE NIA!

    YAY CLINTONS! SMOKE POT, PLAY THE SAX, AND EAT JEYY BELLIES! ..Bush is gay. HIGH FIVE!

    April 23, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  20. Obama is SCARED

    Bye Bye Barack.

    April 23, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  21. Max Neely

    Hillary has a whopping one term in the Senate to Obama.

    Not a huge difference in experience there, but keep parroting all the media's talking points!

    OBAMA 08!

    April 23, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  22. John

    If Clinton is given the nomination I want my SSI check sent to me in Canada, and I will vote for McCain before I go.

    April 23, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  23. Chris in CA

    I find it interesting how many people comment on the Ticker about how much they hate internet campaign blogging and how much the media plays favorites whilst all the while commenting on said internet blog and holding completely one-sided and biased opinions.

    I'm not one to hold the veil of ignorance over my own eyes. Both candidates have used what I consider to be unethical tactics this campaign, but I'm not about to go vote Green or Red because of it. I will vote for the candidate I view has the potential to lead this country back to a state at which I can describe something as "American" and actually mean something positive. I think people need to stop thinking about how much they hate the process simply because their pick for president gets some bad press. It's a presidential campaign. These things happen. Sniping back and force from supporters on either side doesn't make your candidate any more appealing.

    April 23, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  24. ryan

    Hey, Clinton gained 3-4 delegates! Great!

    Add around 58 more states to the union and at this rate she can catch up.

    The race is over. Simple math, people. Simple math.

    April 23, 2008 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  25. ABC = Anybody But Clinton

    CALLING ALL CLINTONITES~~
    Enjoy it while you can..........bask in your whopping 6 delegates gained...wow wee........now can somebody do something about those AWFUL PANT SUITS???? Oh that's right....she's in THE RED!!!

    IF YA CAN'T RUN A CAMPAIGN....HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO RUN A COUNTRY????

    April 23, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
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