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. caloh

    I congratulate the New York Times on an honest dipiction of the Clinton campaign. Yeah, Obama could slam her on a number of issues that the republicans could dismantle her campaign with,but this time, I dont think Bill or Hillary can dig themselves out of the hole that they have dug themselves into. Barack Obama is going to be our next president, and it is time for the democratic party and all of America to realize we have an opportunity for real change.

    April 23, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  2. Persio, NY

    Oh but lying to the voters, deceiving, condescending his way to a win and turning negative towards the last few weeks doesn't count? I think so and that's what Obama has done. It's even bigger news this coming from the guy who preaches hope and change, and who is talking about new politics without negativity and the unifier. Always trying to spin a Hillary win to look like she lost.................RISE HILLARY RISE

    April 23, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  3. Steve

    Wait a minute. HIllary lost her 20 POINT LEAD! Who cares if she won Penn. Obama has more delegates, more popular vote, soon to be more superdelegates, more money, must i go on? He beats her in EVERY CATEGORY. How in the world you can you make an argument for Hillary? The NYTimes Finally hit the nail on the coffin.

    Can Clinton fans at least concede this point. If (and she will) Hillary loses Indiana and North Carolina. Can she drop out of the race then? There will be be a .05% chance of her getting the nomination.

    Let me know. Thanks

    April 23, 2008 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  4. Stewart

    Hillary Clinton will never be the nominee. It just ain't going to happen. Obama will be the next president, much to the chagrin of the racist blue collar folks that dominate rural parts of this country. She should have won by 20% and she couldn't.

    12 million well spent. I'll be sending Obama some more $$ next week. Clinton is a DINO and would never get a penny from me.

    April 23, 2008 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  5. Jesse


    The last straw for me is the Bush style TV ads that Clinton put out with Pearl Harbour, 911, and Bin Laden

    This is it... if the party doesn't get rid of this left over BITTER women who will stop at nothing to win... then I and I'm sure many others will be gone from this party!

    Clinton has LIED, CHEATED and NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNED her way to victory and it makes me sick!


    I wonder what would have happened if someone ran ads with Monica and a cigar... or maybe one of the many scams the Clintons' have tried to pull ... or maybe her in a free trade meeting etc

    April 23, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  6. DCER


    April 23, 2008 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  7. tiff

    I said i would vote whatever candidate won the dem nomination but senator clinton is making it very hard. I think she will do anything. "oh my goodness"

    April 23, 2008 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  8. Lisa

    This woman, Hillary Clinton represents what the face of old, divisive, misleading politics looks like. Very attractive.....huh...and we are suppose to have four years of this nonsense. People wake up. Bush was enough, already.

    April 23, 2008 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  9. Jerry

    Hurray for the New York Times!!! At least some see the Billary crowd for what they are – pure political trash. Time for a change and McCain is just a lost soul with his economic 'package' and 100 year war. My vote remains with'The Man', Barrack!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  10. Dan


    Acually she did not win by double digits. Do the math.

    Congrats to HRC, but not enough. Sorry. If to you this is your day, then have it because it will end soon.

    April 23, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  11. Ed

    why is it that people who support Clinton are talking like this is the biggest political victory of all time but yet she only will probably gain about what, 7-8 delegates? which means instead of being behind by 144 she'll only be behind by 138?

    he is still ahead in delegates, and honestly that is the only math that matters in the end is the DELEGATE COUNT!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  12. T Paine - w/ common sense

    Let's see California, Penn, NY, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, did I miss a big State.... If this was a winner take all Hillary would be winning right now... Obama speaks of every vote counts but those in Florida... Oh yeah they didn't vote for him. When Michigan legislators proposed a revote Obamas supporters, the state legislators in Michigan's Legislature, killed it...The media is so biased against Hillary its a joke... She wins bigs and on their Headline she just survives not that she won BIG... One question – why the media doesn't discuss that Obama while being chairman on the Afghanistan subcommittee has never called for an oversight investigation or review yet the Taliban have taken stronger hold and Al Qaeda are strong in the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan. When people talk of racism – isn't racist when one votes based on race. So my 2nd question – Are Blacks voting for Obama because he's Black or for what he stands for? Because if they are voting for Obama because he is Black then they are racists (no different then the Old Dixie South of White only Politics) and contrary what MLK envisioned. But when all said and done – Obama / Clinton or Clinton / Obama – one is president for first 4 years and then trade positions – finished. Or Flip a coin!!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  13. F Hitlery

    This is the beginning of the end for Obama. Hillary will become the nominee and the next president. It is inevitable by the will of GOD himself. She is GOD's chosen one and will fulfill her destiny.

    April 23, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  14. BHO

    Winning at Home is not unusual but Clinton used many uncivilised propagandas.

    What was she trying by showing OSAMA BIN LADEN whose family is very close to Bush family?

    Further she cannot bridge the gap between Obama and her in the matter of delegates even she win other states.

    She wastes others money to satisfy herslef and never get the nomination to contest in the general election.

    If she realy care about the people, she must leave the race and support Obama.!

    April 23, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  15. KM

    I think obama supporters should take the defeat sportingly and just shut up. they think only they can think and rest of PA consists of fools.. enough of crying kids..

    April 23, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  16. whites.dudes.4.obama08

    i just cant wait for the racial fight in this country again somethings realy going on ! why the medias r not showing the trhut ? its soo sad about those stupids journalists on air but i guaranti usa somethings coming up very soon !

    April 23, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  17. Laughing

    Pretty silly whining from the Times.

    April 23, 2008 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  18. Tom,des moines

    Shut the hell up NYT! Hillary won sucker!

    April 23, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  19. Clint

    To “Bill W – PA” – wow, you are why so many people think Obama is elite (“sorry that so many in my state are so stupid”). He seemed pretty negative in some of his “I lost Pennsylvania” speech tonight... if he can’t take Hillary’s punches then there is no way he can win against the Republican machine. No way! GO HILLARY!!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  20. Disenfranchised GOP Guy

    Only the democrats could screw up this election. I don't think they could take the White House back even if the GOP sold Alaska back to the Russians for $7.2 Million (PLEASE no one suggest this to W as he might do it!).

    April 23, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  21. Marco Valdez

    Whatever the NY Times has decided to publish about senator Clinton at this point is moot. The fact remains that although she won PA, and by approximately 10%, mathematically, she cannot win the nomination, unless Obama completely screws up the rest of the way. His delegate lead is too far ahead for her to catch up. She must win at least 60% of each of the remaining states to break even with Obama, in terms of pledged delegate counts and convince the majority of superdelegates to back her as well to even clinch or have a hope of clinching the nomination. The fact remains that while Clinton deserves all the credit in the world for winning tonight, numerically, unless Obama makes MAJOR gaffes along the way, she really has no chance to win. Plain and simple

    April 23, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  22. Marianne

    Why isn't anyone mentioning that Feds are already starting to investigate the Clintons again for multiple scandals? The kitchen sink tactic just does not apply to Barrack Obama but to her participation in all politics. She has donated 5 mil to her campaign, he has accepted millions from Dubai and Communist China – what will all the special interests expect in return once his wife is in the White House? Can someone mention the laundry list of investigations that our tax payer dollars will pay for if they get anywhere near the White House again? What happened last time a Clinton was in the White House – how much did the taxpayer pay to prosecute?

    April 23, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  23. 1 of Thee Many

    Congratulations to all of the over 1 million Obama voters in PA who came out to effectively blunt the unoriginal, non-inspiring, bluster & spin that the Clinton campaign is putting on her so-called win. Like a closing time drunk who is holding out false hope that she might get picked up at closing time by Mr. Right, she'll soon be forced to wake up to the undeniable fact that it's time to give it up and face reality...and so will her supporters. Hey, live it up "Queen of Denial". Might as well. The end of nearly a quarter of a century of either a Bush or a Clinton in the White House is at hand. New York Times; you are back in being relevant once again.

    April 23, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  24. Christopher Graham

    It's very easy for the New York Times to sit in judgement and snipe from their thrones of decency when the world falls down around our ears...

    I, for one, am against doing nothing, and I believe that Hillary will at least ATTEMPT to right this ship that is our country,,,,

    Voters have voted out of fear since the days of Jefferson and Lincoln, so why shouldn't other candidates reap those benefits? Let us not pretend that politics is a clean and just racket. Not all of us can polish our ivory towers of with the elegance of language as we stand safely behind the "paper of record". Perhaps one of you should pick up a weapon that isn't a pen....

    April 23, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  25. Paul

    You guys aren't paying attention to what is happening...

    Clinton was ahead by TWENTY POINTS in Penn after Ohio. Since then, Obama cut her lead by TEN PERCENTAGE POINTS!

    That's over 100,000 people in Pennsylvania changing their vote from Hillary to Obama in a MONTH.

    It is OVER, there is no possible way that Hillary can win the election based on the numbers.

    April 23, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
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