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. Mark

    Will Bob Casey now follow his electorate's decision and back Clinton again?

    And will Bill Richardson, and Ted Kennedy?

    If we apply the principle that superdelegates should back those who their voters back, as some of Clinton defectors argue, to ALL superdelegates - I wonder what the total superdelegate count in the race will be?

    Or do D-superdelegates prefer to talk of loyalties to their voters only when it justifies their defecting Clinton to Obama?

    April 23, 2008 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  2. Rex

    Hooray for the NYT!

    Hillary has shown clearly that she is willing to do anything to win – if the super D's choose her, even though she doesn't have a majority of either delegates or popular votes, they are kissing the under 40 vote good bye.

    I am 70 and i would really like to see us honor the future, not the dead hand of the pasr!

    April 23, 2008 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  3. AreYouKiddingMe

    I am sure if you would asked Obama a month ago if Hillary beats you by 6 delegates in PA will he consider that a victory for him. His answer would have been Yes Yes Yes. Let’s not spin this as a huge win for Hillary when she only gain 6 delegates. Now I guess she will need 80% of the remaining votes to win. Are you kidding me?

    April 23, 2008 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  4. Mose

    Finally people like the Times see Hillary as she really is. Same Old politics with dirty campaigning. What ever it takes– Boznia, nafta reversal, and on and on.

    Obama will win the rest.

    April 23, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  5. Patrick Blackmon

    Who runs Obama's campaign? Kindergarten teachers? Yeah, right. And all this "change" rhetoric — are all of the congressional super delegates supporting Obama going to resign their seats so that newer, fresher, and changed people can take their place. Yeah, right. It seems to me that the real change happening here is that money no longer ensures victory; just look how Hillary was outspent yet still managed to rout her opponent.

    April 23, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  6. richard

    I dont have much but I am going to donate $100 more to Hillary's campaign. Way to go Hillary you are the President we have been waiting for.

    April 23, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  7. Michael

    Good, it's true. It's sadly the only reason she regained momentum after Obama blindsighted her and became the frontrunner.

    Peter Paul Vs. Clinton goes to trial next month. Hopefully this will open peoples' eyes as to who she really is.

    April 23, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  8. America Post Obama

    Hillary for president would be a REAL CHANGE for the better, Obama for president would only be 1/2 a change into the unknown. Would you rather have an experienced captain at the ship's helm during a storm or an inexperieced rookie with no track record.

    April 23, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  9. deroy

    NY TIMES out of touch with reality.

    being run into the ground by sulzberger JR and bill keller the son of former CHEVRON "OIL" CEO.
    keller lives off oil money.

    a couple of cheap crooks.

    April 23, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  10. Mose

    Finally people like the Times see Hillary as she really is. Same Old politics with dirty campaigning. What ever it takes– Boznia, nafta reversal, and on and on.

    Obama will win the rest.

    April 23, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  11. Johan

    Jay in Kansas: I'm sure Obama probably learned more than Hillary about diplomacy when he studied International Relations (political science) than Hillary did with her tea trips around the world as first lady. I really don't understand why a nation in which education is supposedly valued so much it is scoffed at when one is actually educated in that field...

    April 23, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  12. Indiana for Hillary

    We in Indiana believe in her, and will put the next big win in her column.

    The New York Times has one foot in the grave and is irrelevant. Now we know why – they don't get it. Hillary WON.

    April 23, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  13. Brandon

    And what did Clinton win? an extra 6 delagates? And stil 138delegates short.
    Let me see, Obama still has the majority of delegates, and the superdelegates are almost tied.
    Can Clinton supporters tell us why they are happy that Hillary used 9/11 as part of her campaign?
    Anyway, I am not quite sure if you (clinton supporters) know, that even if she wins out 55/45, and that will be impossible anyway, she will STILL lose the nomination.

    One other thing, interesting to see how hateful clinton supporters are. In exit polls in Pennsylvania, 15% of clinton supporters will vote Republican if Obama gets the nomination, while it was 6% for Obama supporters.

    Your party is your party, but I guess in terms of the supporters character, I guess them apples don't fall too far from the tree.

    April 23, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  14. Cyndi

    It's about time Clinton was called on her fear mongering tactics and negativity. As a CNN panel member put it so aptly this evening....Hilliary ran the ads that the Republicans would have loved to but now they don't have to...she did it for them. Pennsylvania Democrats–what were you thinking?

    April 23, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  15. Nicholas Dagher

    This election hasn't changed a single thing. Obama has faced a month's worth of criticism and Rove/Republican like attacks from Hilary and the rest of her gang. The Penn. debate (which looked more like an ambush) was incredibly unfair and helped eliminate the gains Obama was making in the polls. I was in disbelief after ABC questioned Obama's patriotism by asking him why he doesn't wear an american lapel pin. Do you really think that our elected Democratic or Republican officials genuinely question Obama's patriotism behind closed doors? If you do, you must realize that you are being fooled and guided into a direction that is contrary to your best interests by individuals whose personal interests are contrary to yours.

    April 23, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  16. Maria

    I can't believe PA would vote for a Liar. She lies right to their face. She has fooled PA. .

    April 23, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  17. Jane

    Hillary is about people recognizing the truth. And,the truth is 9-11 is something that NO ONE will ever forget, But, in this campaign alot of the younger generation seems to have gotten so caught up in the Obama movement, that they have forgotten. Or at least appear to have.
    The possibility of another attack on American soil still lingers. If and when that does happen who will stand up to these terrorists and won't back down? HILLARY!!!!

    Hope and change doesn't cut it.

    April 23, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  18. tomdavie

    No. The NY Times writer is just stamping his feet like a little child. Obama did this to himself. He cant win blue collar voters. It aint just Pennysvannia. Ohio as well. He cannot win them. Period.

    April 23, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  19. Tony

    Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise. The race is not for the swiftest but for those who can endure till the end. Obama is made of sterner stuff, an yes he is an honorable man. So, all Hillary supporters.....if you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

    April 23, 2008 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  20. Hari

    Finally, NYT. Thanks for writing this AFTER you endorsed her.

    April 23, 2008 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  21. Ed

    Hillary is a street fighter and she won, period. Money doesn't buy respect and by the way, Pennsylvanians are NOT FOR SALE. 10 points.. .stop whining, this is far from negative, no adults want to hear it. Bottom line is Hillary has our backs, so we have hers. Great job Senator Clinton. We're with you, end of story.

    April 23, 2008 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  22. Scot

    I'm glad somebody in the media is good at math.

    Penn was not a win for Hillary,,, a tie at best.

    For the past week we've seen polls with a 5% margin for Hillary with 9% undecided.

    Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! 5% plus half of 9% is 9 1/2 to 10%!

    ... and starting with a 20% lead!

    ... and tens of millions in debt, against an opponent with tens of millions in reserves.

    A big win for Hillary indeed.

    Two more months of trench warfare while McCain gets a free ride.

    April 23, 2008 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  23. Mike

    To Bill of Pa,

    Would you like to borrow the moving van that moves Senator Clinton into the White House to move you out of Pennsylvania?

    Would you like some cheese to go along with your whine or wine, either or?

    Go Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Double Digits!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  24. LatinoinAZ

    This is just terrible coming from the New York Times. I will boycott them from now on!!!! On the eve of Senator Clinton celebrating her victory, and they want to rain on her parade. I'm outraged!!!!
    Go Clinton!!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  25. Brad

    Alleging negativity, on the part of Senator Clinton, without offering one or any specific references to what kinds of tactics constitute negative campaigning, seems disengenous. Simply, she made a focused criticism of something Obama did say and drew a reasonable inference, which is that the comments seemed elitist. Is this negative, or is it simply making a point about the potential weaknesses of the candidate against whom you are running.

    Further, in the ad with Osama bin laden, Osama's 3 second appearance is part of a montage symbolic of a range of crises that faces the next president; is this negative or simply making an argument?

    April 23, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
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