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. Ephy

    I think this is not a win. Hillary Clinton waving Bin Laden in order for her to win is not to solve the spiny socioeconomic issues facing America today.
    I am sorry Hillary, but you lost.

    April 23, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  2. Chris

    American politics is a filthy business. The negative stuff from either party is predictable.

    However…..

    Karl Rove and Neo-CONs exploited 9/11 in 2004. Fear tactics are right out of the republican’s Bag-o-Dirty Mind Tricks. It’s was inappropriate then and its inappropriate now. The Clinton Campaign is insulting our collective intelligence.

    Do us all a favor Hillary ….Leave the Nazi style fear-mongering to the Republicans.

    I can’t wait to read the myopic Billary supporters trying to spin this.

    April 23, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  3. Noel - London

    This type of criticism, by an esteemed broadsheet should wake us all up to the type of anxious, manipulatable, angry presidency that Mzzz Clinton would foist upon your nation.

    As a 7 year old child in the 60s, seeing JFK represent your country, its positivity and its capability (which I might add has long since gone but regainable) as a nation with VALUES, we would like to remind you that the rest of the world needs Obama PDQ. Dump the fear and head for VALUES for a change.

    April 23, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  4. VA08

    If Hillary steals this nomination, I along with all my friends, co-workers and family have sworn to vote for McCain!!!....McCain is the lesses of the two evils!!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  5. ATW

    Clearly, by the look of these comments, her pandering and Hate Obama, Love Me rhetoric has paid off. She's done a better job of turning her supporters into anti-Obamaites than the Republicans. So far at least 10 of her lines have been already repeated on this page. Way to go, Hillary.

    April 23, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  6. Sharon

    The negativity of Clinton's campaign is destroying Obama–good for Senator Clinton, but a disaster for the Democratic Party. She'll need that party to win in November.

    April 23, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  7. David Chambers

    The NY Times editorial finally spoke to the heart of the problem with the whole Clintn bid for the White House. Do we want a small-minded, vindictive, polarizing person in the White House? This is too much like the occupant we have now!

    Obama still inspires us with a more hopeful message. Remember, the kind of "experience" Clinton slams into our faces is the "experience" that got us to where we are in the first place.

    I have been hoping for a leader to come along and Obama is that leader. Clinton is just a mean spirited politician. She will not pull those of us who really wanted regime change into her camp. And that could be a tragic problem for the Democrats and for the country as a whole.

    April 23, 2008 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  8. Cindy

    The party "is" divided, julie. In her efforts to take back her nomination, she has painted Obama so badly, that her supporters won't vote for him if he wins. There is no more unified party.

    She has no money. She's splintered her party. And yet she uses this victory to carry on. For what? So she can possibly make a case to the Superdelegates to overturn the popular vote? Such a selfish woman.

    April 23, 2008 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  9. Hillary Supported

    I am a Hillary supporter, so it is with great pain that I have to say that she and her staff just don't get it – it's not about the popular vote anymore – mathatically, she can't win on that front. Her only hope is the Super Delegates and they are the ones most turned off my her negative campaigning, As long as she continues to listen to her husband and go negative, the Super Delegates will continue to move towards Obama, Come on Hillary, get a clue!

    April 23, 2008 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  10. Kyle

    Can someone please explain Senator Clinton's vast foreign policy experience? Being first lady doesn't exactly constitute foreign policy experience unless she was having meetings with foreign leaders behind closed doors out of sight.

    April 23, 2008 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  11. Brian

    Clinton wins PA by WHOPPING 6 delegates (99% reporting). She may have won the battle, but she came in 142 down, and is leaving PA down 138 delegates. And what does she have to look forward to? A TON of Obama-supporting states ahead of her. With only 408 state delegates left to divide up after PA, she has to pick up 2 for every 1 that Obama picks-up, to get ahead in the race! It's either that or pick up almost every remaining superdelegate. I'm sorry, but even 1st graders have figured out by now, that this is not possible. The superdelegates will not turn against the people they represent, to overthrow Obama.

    My predictions (if she doesn't give up by then):
    Guam (4): 3-1 Obama
    North Carolina (115): 70-45 Obama
    Kentucky (51): 28-23 Obama
    Montana (16): 11-5 Obama
    Puerto Rico (55): 32-23 Obama
    Indiana (72): 38-34 Clinton
    West Virginia (28): 14-14 Tie
    Oregon (52): 32-20 Obama
    South Dakota (15): 10-5 Obama

    Total when this is over (minus superdelegates, currently 311 undecided): 1928 Obama – 1730 Clinton. Obama will be up by 198, the superdelegates will have no choice, and will side with Obama as the Democratic Presidential Nominee.

    April 23, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  12. Trish- PA

    In light of what my stupid fellow Pennsylvanians did tonight by voting for her. she only gained 3 or 4 delegates and the blood bath goes on. We all knew he wasn't going to win, just like we all know she isn't going to win North Carolina. And we all knew she wasn't going to win Illinois. And we all knew he wasn't going to win New York. And so on. But she was supposed to win by 20% or better. She did not win by that much. She needed at least 60% of the vote to have any shot at all of catching up. the simple fact is, Obama is still the front runner and will remain so because there is no way she can catch up. Taking away the nomination from someone who is in the lead will cause, as one reporter put it earlier, complete chaos. There are enough Clinton supporters who would vote for him in the general, that he would win by a long shot. But take the nomination away from someone who is clearly in the lead, and you loose as much as half of the Obama supporters. She would lose. Relax Obama people. We pretty much have it in the bag unless Clinton buys her way into the nomination. Oh, wait. She's broke. Game over.

    April 23, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  13. Jane

    Hey Jane from above - The people in this country recognize the truth alright – They recognize that Hillary Clinton is a liar who will and has already permanently outsourced important US jobs overseas for her own political gain, use negative tactics to try to bring other candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain both down to her level, and over 50% of the nation cannot stand the woman because she is unscrupulous. Of course, you, like Hillary, have a selective memory, because she voted for the Iraq War and has no plans to recreate any of the tens of thousands of precious jobs that she already eliminated from the US. One more thing, she is a pathological liar. The people recognize the truth about that in her as well.

    Welcome to the real world, Jane from above.

    Barack Obama WILL WIN the nomination in '08.

    Director Michael Moore has endorsed Barack Obama as well!

    April 23, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  14. tyler

    A big hand for the New York Times for having the editorial honesty to write the truth. Hillary Clinton is a major disgrace and a major set back for woman who aspire to be all they can be. Success is not something you lie, cheat and steal like Hillary has been doing. What kind of country are we to even allow such a pathetic and desperate person to run for the highest office. It's a complete disgrace to every single man and woman

    YES WE CAN!
    ObamaforUSPresident.com

    April 23, 2008 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  15. Crispus

    HRC is really a Republican and she is only pulling lightweight Republicans who will leave to vote for the GOP. She took the backing from newspaper that did everything to impeach her husband Bill. Her loyalties are with the "Clinton" brand not Democratic party.

    April 23, 2008 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  16. Dylan

    Hillary needs to change her party affilitation. These are not tactics used by the Party of Jefferson, Roosevelt and Kennedy. She is a disgrace to the "D". I have lost all respect for her and her slime machine.

    April 23, 2008 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  17. stinky in florida

    What did she gain? Not much. What are we going to hear from Hillary in Indiana and elsewhere, more lies? I can't imagine four years of that patronizing cackle....no you can't. Obama will be the nominee, you may as well get behind this man. Do you really want senator McBomb?

    April 23, 2008 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  18. Barb in TN

    Talk about math. With her WIN tonight Hillary is only 1% behind Obama in the popular vote. This is the vote that should count the most because it is actually representative of the people who took the time check out the candidates and vote for them.
    By the way, the Replicans who crossed over voted mostly for Obama. Perhaps because they know come November he would be far easier to beat than Hillary the fighter.
    And PLEASE stop bringing up Lewinsky, she has absolutely nothing to do with this race. Talk about dirty politics from the Obama supporters! Bill Clinton is NOT running. And I personally applaud a woman who sticks with her marriage and tries to work it out instead of just giving up and taking the easy way out by getting a divorce. Goes to show how much of a fighter she really is. Shows a lot of back bone to me as I'm sure a lot of people advised her to leave him. Divorce is also against her religon so she did what was morally right for her.

    April 23, 2008 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  19. Cheryl

    is hillary thinking about the long term effect her negative campaigning will have – for one, I truly believe she won't be able to unite the party.

    in the end you can say that people are whining but you will need those same people when it comes time for the general election – so being negative MAY SEEM to be working for the minute but NOT down the road.

    April 23, 2008 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  20. whitegrandmaforObama

    billary had to win PA. she grew up. she even went hunting with her father. do you get where i am going with this. she should have won with bigger margin. most older voters are stuck in the past.

    April 23, 2008 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  21. Carla Patrick

    We are the people. The people are being bambozled by the Clinton's. Do people honestly believe that Hillary will not lie to the people on a continuning basis? Hillary and Bill will do anything to reclaim the white house again so, Bill can have it as his playground . We are the people. The people should open their eyes and pay attention. She will do anything, say anything just to be in power again. Wake up people!

    April 23, 2008 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  22. bjm - Knoxville, TN

    THIS campaign is negative? Give me a break, NY Times! Yes, Hillary AND Barack have slung some arrows, but nothing to match past campaigns. Why are you guys at the Times wringing your hands and slamming Hillary? Because she's a female, and you consider it "unfeminine"? Or just because she IS a female? Apparently your paper has joined the rest of the media in its male chauvinistic revulsion, fear, and realization that, yes, a WOMAN, could actually become president of the U.S.A. HORRORS!

    You're the best, Hillary! Smart, experienced, tough AND tender. GO SISTER WOMAN!!! I'm with you all the way!

    April 23, 2008 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  23. Amber

    What did she win except another state b/c she's still in the same position with delegetes. Unfortunately it'll take my home state of NC to sock it to her where she'll lose big time. Just like the overwhelmingly percentages of white votes that came out to support her, it's time for the blacks of NC to bring her back down off her high. Let's face it our nation isn't ready for a black president or a female so you better brace yourselves for John Mccain McBush. Due to America's continued RACISM and Sexism you'll continue down the same destructive path. I hope all the "rednecks" in the pickups who are broke and don't have any savings go bankrupt and homeless b/c due to your ignorance and in the inability to get beyond "COLOR" that's where you'll be with Mccain in office.

    April 23, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  24. guy

    If the voters knew about some of Obamas radical enemies of the state in February he would be out by now.
    Anyway,it's sad to have to choose from either of the two democrats and the republications aren't offering much either.This country is so divided and we're in real trouble because no one governs with good common sense anymore.This attitude of hooray for us and screw you too has real people on the sidelines with no relief in sight.
    Voters beware no matter who gets elected because no one in congress seems to care either.The tail is wagging the dog and that spells big trouble.

    April 23, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  25. ado-NY

    As an Obama supporter i'm pleased with the results, although they could have been better. When a person with such a recognizable name runs for president (such as Clinton), it is obvious the other candidates will have to outspend them in order to compete.

    People seem to forget that Clinton had a 20% lead in PA a month ago. Obama had to campaign hard in order to minimize this margin to as little as possible, and it seems that he did.

    In Clintons victory speech she continued to attack Obama, but in Obamas losing speech he attacked McCain (which they both need to start doing) and barely even poked fun at Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
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