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. mollygonz

    LONNIE H:

    I loved your post. It was so right on!! I am disappointed in PA as well but don't forget that nearly half did vote for Obama. I'm not even worried. He has it wrapped up regardless. My brother also lives in Ohio and he told me when Hillary won Ohio that Ohio always screws it up in the end. I had to laugh! Don't get me wrong..I love Ohio, I am from Cleveland and Cuyahoga County was one of the counties that supported Barack I'm proud to say. He will be fine and will go on to win most of the next contests. Any gain she had today will be wiped out in North Carolina.

    April 23, 2008 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  2. kevin williams

    WoW,all 7 of you have come out with real happy feelin for Hillary,and thats so sweet,that it will not make a difference what you think of Obama or how you have these great Admirations for Hillary.If you think Hillary will make a better President then Obama,or you think This woman is the first American President,then its ok..But if you are voting simply cause she's White,then we've come nowhere,if you are voting for her cause she's White and a woman,you are half way there,And if you are voting for her cause you think Obama will make life better for all black people then you are as stupid as a man who tries to hold up a bank with nothing to back him up.. The smart money will be on the better person for the job,Not the lighter person,,You are lookin for a small victory not a smart leader,you are lookin another Caucasian President not the best Candidate for the Job..You all need to get a grip,cause if you don't, polident will not be enough to keep this fading country together...

    April 23, 2008 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  3. Crispus

    please tell me what does "How many Angels can dance on the head of a pin?" mean?(Her response to the $800,000 her family got from the Colombians to lobby for the CAFTA) and did those funds become part of the 5 mil. she lent her campaign.

    April 23, 2008 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  4. Bill Parker

    Writer Bill "W" (I take my signature cues from John Hancock, not Aaron Burr) thinks so mightily of himself that he presumes to apologize for all the "stupid people" in his state of Pennsylvania (i.e., who don't agree with him). His attitude certainly fits well with that of his apparent favorite, Barack Obama! One thing I've always noticed about arrogant, condescending people of unmitigated gall: they are utterly unaware of how they sound. The common term is "tone deaf."

    April 23, 2008 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  5. The O

    Well let me be the first to thank Hillary for giving the white house to the Republicans for another 8 years thank you Hillary you have done a great job. this win does not really matter she will not win the nomination but now Obama can't win the GE becuase the party is to split and divide. I guess those genarals are giving her millitary advise divide and conquor.

    Every super delegate needs to be kicked in the neck ninja style for letting this nincompoopery to continue on. This is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in my life and some people are buying into Hillary's lie's and crap. well we know why and geraldine said Obama would not be where he is if he was not black what a bunch of crap just like everything that comes out of Hillary's mouth

    THE O

    April 23, 2008 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  6. gail Knowles

    Sen. Clinton is doing the Democratic party a favor - if Senator Obama wins the nomination he will be a tougher candidate facing what I am sure will be the relentless attacks of the Republican party. And what exactly is so negative about Sen. Clinton's adverts - I for one will to vote for someone who IS paying attention to Bin Laden, rising oil prices etc. These are legitimate concerns as well as the socio-economic issues facing our country. Scary? Yes. Fear mongering, No.

    April 23, 2008 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  7. Darryl

    Obama had no chance to win the great state of PA. His only hope was to close the gap. Mission accomplished. Good job Obama. Hillary it's time to stop the negative campaigning. Congrats to Hillary for the win. You need to increase delegates to win.

    April 23, 2008 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  8. Texas4Hillary

    This piece by the NY times borders the ridiculous. They know that this is American politics and are juicing the drama fruit for all its worth. One can complain and whine about plenty of American Institutions, but the reality is our American Political System is one of the BEST in the world and it is one of the reasons we are what we are as a nation.......................GREAT!

    April 23, 2008 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  9. Suzie from Australia

    I watch this drama as a believer in the USA as a leader in the world that I want to exist. I call it the US! Even if Hillary has scraped up the numbers, do you guys really want a President who behaves like an attack dog. Obama is a symbol of the America I want to believe in. Keep at it Barack

    April 23, 2008 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  10. jerome

    Wake up America! Mrs. Clinton is no different than any other candidate whose ever ran for or occupied the Oval Office–it's just that she's a woman. She hasn't told any more lies or misreprestnted herself any more than any other candidate in the past. Because she's a woman we hold her to a different standard, and it's not fair. How soon we forget (GWB was elected twice). I'm amazed at all the negativity she 's receiving from women in this country, If you want Mother Theresa for President, sorry, your too late , she dead!! As far as the NYT, no one respects them any more, "Bait and Switch" is their tactic.

    April 23, 2008 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  11. tyler

    For all you Hillary supporters whinning about Obama out spending her. Think about what your saying. The Clinton camp is completely broke. They owe everyone money. Obama took in 40 million in April
    alone. Where do think the money comes from....supporters! That's
    right just a bunch of people sick and tired of politicians who do nothing but rape our country. It's true that maybe most of us haven't been too engaged in politics of the past but we are NOW. I think if anything proves beyond a doubt that Obama is the right person to be our next president, it's the amount of 5-10-25 dollar contributions that millions of his supporters give in support of the greatest movement since the revolution.

    Check out some new Obama 30 sec. TV spots

    United We Stand
    http://obamain30seconds.org/vote/?v=view-682-wuL1uD

    United We Can
    http://obamain30seconds.org/vote/?v=view-718-MNqUJJ

    YES WE WILL!
    ObamaforUSPresident

    April 23, 2008 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  12. Newman

    Oh, the people want her, you say? Then why didn't she win 80-20 or even 70-30? Because she doesn't have a chance. Obama put a huge dent in her ride through PA and now she is out of money, while Barack is riding strong. Super D's realize how Obama brings the party together, and inspires millions of first time voters and former republicans to vote for him. What does Hillary do, lies and fear. I am deeply ashamed of PA when 67% find her untrustworthy yet still vote for her. Probably because some whites are voting white and women are voting for a woman. This country has a long way to go if we are choosing candidates like 3 year olds on the playground. And don't think we didn't forget about her obliterate Iran statement. Despicable!

    April 23, 2008 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  13. coolclimate

    Yay, re-elect the establishment! Vote for Hillary!

    April 23, 2008 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  14. Pam

    The Clintons are so hungry for more power that in the process of losing they destroy their own party.
    What gives?
    How will she even seem credible in four years?

    Shame on you Hillary!

    April 23, 2008 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  15. colo

    Time for Obama to goooooooooooooooooooooooo

    Go Hillary

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

    CONGRATULATION SENATOR CLINTON. Amazing victory!!!
    Pansilvania you are great State with a lot of smart p[eople!
    Thank you!!!!!!!
    Obama ads was much more negative then Clinton ads.
    Obama has no experience, he cannot be President and with his corruption scandals (REZKO trial) and his radical Church and his pastor Geremiah Wright, and "bitter" comments, and his love to people who hate America , Barac Obama is not fit to be a Senator - not to mention the next President of the United States.
    And now Obama gets superdelegates two ways.
    1). He is buying them (He paid a lot of money to them. )
    2)The other way – he threaten them to switch sides. And this is Democratic process?!
    Superdelegates should be independent!!!

    I WANT TO ASK YOU, GOVERNORS, SENATORS AND OTHER SUPERDELEGATES, WHY YOU ARE ENDORSING BARAC HUSEIN OBAMA? IS IT OK THAT HE IS A MEMBER FOR 20 YEARS OF RADICAL CHURCH WHO PREACHES HATE WHITE PEOPLE AND HATE AMERICA??? You want him in a White House??? with Jeremiah Wright, Loues Farrakhan, James Zogby ets.
    You betrayed America and American people!!! Shame on you!!!

    April 23, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  17. FV

    They need to pull their head out and face the facts.....
    HILLARY IS THE BEST CHOICE TO LEAD THIS NATION.

    Obama is a whinny kid and McCain is a has been milquetoast.

    April 23, 2008 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  18. blunt

    I WONDER WHY THE CLINTON'S ARE HAVING SUCH A HARD TIME JUST EVEN GETTING INTO FIRST PLACE AFTER ALL THERE YEARS IN WASHINGTON,AND HELL OBAMA IS RUNNING AGAINST THREE PEOPLE BILL,HILLARY,AND CHELSEA AND DONT FORGET ABOUT THOSE WHO JUST CAN'T VOTE FOR ANY MAN THAT HAS ANY BLACK IN HIM.AND LETS NOT ACT LIKE IT STILL DOESN'T EXSIST.JUST TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT WHATS GOING ON.

    April 23, 2008 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  19. Tom Little

    It's not double digits, do the math, 9.4%

    April 23, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  20. Bill

    I agree with NY Times and I hate this type of campaigning no matter who it is, Obama or Clinton, Democrat, Republican, Green or Independent. It's downright sickening to stoop to that level and basically play people for fools. The thing is, it works on a lot of people, these pathetic fear mongering tactics. But people like me who see it for what it is are disgusted by this and I can tell you, I don't care if this is just some kind of last-minute desperation blitz from the Clinton campaign - it's sickening and I will never offer her the slightest support because of this. If there's ever a Clinton-McCain face-off in November, I'll stay home. Not because I'm bitter but because Hillary has proved to be nothing more than a Rove-style fear mongering neocon democrat who will say and do ANYTHING to get her power-hungry butt back in the White House.

    April 23, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  21. Judith A Boros

    Well well, i see the clintons have managed to smunt their way into the hearts and minds of people once again. Please amercians try to remember what happened when the clintons were in the white house before. It was a total mess. What a total discrase they made of the oval office. Really do you want another 4 years of those two. It;s time to have someone in the white house who knows how to treat the office with respect. lying and having affairs just doesn,t get it. They used the office to promote getting 100 million dollars. We want our good name back and other countries over the world to like us and look up to amercia once again. Vote for Obama. He won,t disapoint people. You can take that to the bank.

    April 23, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  22. Andrew

    Oh and Paine is an idiot because Obama is chairman of the senates subcommittee on European Affairs and Afghanistan is in Asia. Pick up a map or alternatively just research before spouting off stupid things Clinton has already said. The fact that that argument hit home for you, while not actually knowing anything about what Obama is on, is really kinda telling about the Clinton follower's mindset.

    April 23, 2008 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  23. Ted M

    If Obama had won it would have obviously ended the Clinton campaign. But would that have been the best for the party? Absolutely not. The Obama vs Clinton story is crowding out all other coverage of the campaign. We need that, badly!
    It makes absolutely no difference if Obama or Clinton wins. What we need is whatever Democrat that is nominated to utterly beat McCain to the point that the Republican party is so weakened, that it splits into a moderate Republican party and a Conservative Right-wing religious fanatic party, as the remaining Republicans finally realize the damage that mixing religion into politics has done and utterly repudiate the religious zealot control of the party. And the only way we are going to get a landslide for the Democrats is if McCain is ignored. Right now, the Obama/Clinton fight is accomplishing that. We need that spectacle to continue until the convention. And we need the convention to be a raccous affair with superdelegates fighting with each other. Because, once the Democratic nominee is chosen, in a twinkling all the Democrats will unite behind that person, because the alternative – McCain – is just too awful to contemplate.
    Don't be mistaken – McCain is just as terrible a religious ultra-right-winger as George Bush. He was one of the biggest hawks pushing the US into the Iraq war. Once the real campaign begins between McCain and the Democratic nominee, you will see all of the Republican dirty tricks brought out and the voters reminded of them, and everyone will forget the Obama vs Hillary fight.

    April 23, 2008 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  24. Disappointed

    And this is the party of unity ?? For the first time ever, I can't bring myself to vote for the democratic nominee in November, not after this ongoing display of an in-house Stooge-a-thon. It's a sad day that after 8 years of Bush, the best we can produce is a choice between these bickering clowns. What a freaking joke the democratic party has become.

    April 23, 2008 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  25. Be Fair....

    I guess the NY Times forgot to finish the article. Where is the slam against Obama for his negative ads. He went nuclear on Hillary out spent her 3 to 1 on negative ads. If the NY Times is going to be critical of one candidate, then it should be critical of all the candidates. Obama, despite the opinion of the Kool-aid drinking followers, does not walk on water. Obama is nothing more than a spoiled brat who will do or say anything to get elected. He is a hypocrite for saying one thing and then having his campaign do another. NY Times... call him on his trash talk or don't call anyone on it.

    April 23, 2008 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
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