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. Elizabeth

    Thank you NY Times for telling the truth. I believe there is nothing Hillary wouldn't do to get in White House. Even at the expense of her family, the people, the party, the House and Senate. When she is finished there will be nothing be shambles. All the Clinton's know is how to play s down and dirty.
    NY Times why don't you ask the Clinton's for the list of the people that made donations to the Clinton :Library. Then everyone will see just how dirty they are. They are always hiding something. It awful when 58% of the people don't trust Hillary. That is really sad.

    God Bless America

    April 23, 2008 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  2. Seed

    9/11 is the reality of American history and a major influencing factor at the present time. If Elites journalist wants Democrats to concede that to Republican party we will end up with anothe John Kerry.

    We need to win and protect this country. We need to be proud of this country and Senator Clinton is proud of this Country since her birth. She does not need to wait until "adultwood" or only "recently" to become proud of this Country

    April 23, 2008 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  3. Kathy

    So what if Clinton won she s still behind. The Clinton dynasty is so very desperate. Her husband lies especially about the controversey where he states the race card issue. And it was recorded and he denied he said it on the talk show. Well they played it and again he was caught in a lie. Frankly you tink he was running for president and that is all she has is him plugging for her. Seems like you folks out there don't realize that Obama is an american citizen, not a muslim, and most of you folks are so afraid to have another person like Obama in the White House because he is an african american.And you folks seem that you don't have any faults and you folks think you perfect like Hillary. Shame on her for shoeing the very negative. The big joke out there is which pant suit is she wearing today. We all know she wears the pants in her house don't we. I am very happy with voting for Obama and I am an indepdent who know we need a more engerized, younger, and new face instead of that old Clinton & Bush running machine. We need someone else who can beat the medicare presidential nominee McCain. The superdelegates will pick Obama.

    April 23, 2008 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  4. Edwin

    WOW she's picked up 4 whole delegates on Obama. What a smashing victory! At this rate she'll need 78 more states to be created and win those primaries just so she can catch up.

    She just wants to make sure that the democrats lose the election...

    April 23, 2008 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  5. Viv

    Pennsylvania has the second oldest community in the states, they also have the largets blue collar and non college grads bases, so why wouldn't we expect for Hillary to win. I htink that people need to remember that a year and half ago, no one knew Obama. For someone like Obama to gain in on Hillary as he has, to be the front runner with a fomer first lady of a popular former president, that is amazing. I still think that Obama deserves and will have the nomination. Obama 08 & 12

    April 23, 2008 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  6. Paige

    We need to think about Bin Laden and 9/11. Its still fresh in my mind. A video couldn't even express how bad these events really were and could be again. So shame on you for making out like it didn't happen. It did and right in your own back yard.

    April 23, 2008 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  7. Steve

    Fear = Minds....

    April 23, 2008 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  8. rw md

    Obama started it and the democratic party has gone out of there way
    to see Obama win.
    If the democrat's didn't split the delagates in the larger states
    and do what the republicans do, winner take all, she would
    have it but since Obama promised his wife if he lost he
    wouldn't run again the party want's him to win now.
    Some of the things he's said like " your typical white people"
    if Clinton would have said "typical black people" she would have
    been nailed to the wall, he get's away with murder.
    When she slipped up early on about giving driver's licences
    to illeagal's, she got attacked for week's, he say's it and nothing.
    This election is bought and paid for by the democratis party and
    Barrack Obama.
    If Obama win's the nomination count me in with Lou Dobb's, no
    dog in this hunt catagory, INDEPENDANT.

    April 23, 2008 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  9. Trish-For America

    We have all turned into FOX news and there is not a single American who looks at anything objectively anymore. The "hate and discontent" has risen to levels that make us all ugly and selfish including our politicians. We are the ones to blame for own problems, no one cares anymore unless it benefits us.

    April 23, 2008 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  10. Alice Hurst

    I oppose candidates who go negative, negative and negative. Electing such a person will not be trusted and is not respected by other heads of state. Clinton is farther right on a new war (with Iran), than the McCain.
    When was the last time Iran attacked another country? The US is frightening them and feel we will attack them, thus their efforts for self defense.

    April 23, 2008 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  11. Mike, Cape Cod

    10 pt. lead. Congratulations. She needed a 30 to 60pt lead though to
    put a dent in Obama's campaign. Pennsylvania is probably the last
    state that Hillary can get away with her kind of politics. 6 more delegates
    won't hurt Senator Obama's lead, so let her fly her balloons for a couple
    of days.

    Obama 08,

    April 23, 2008 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  12. Jerry in Florida

    Were you folks expecting anything else from the morons at the NY Times? Of course, Senator Obama and his misguided supporters will be jumping from joy.

    However, caution, don't rule Senator Clinton out.

    Stay tuned!

    Go Hillary, go!

    April 23, 2008 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  13. Jim

    I can only guess that PA doesn't care how many more of their jobs are outsourced, or if the border is ever secured, or about what scandals the next president causes, or how much money they steal. They chose the proven liar with the proven liar for a husband. They must not want anything to change.

    April 23, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  14. Joe Green

    OMG! The NYT is dissing Hillary? Wow!

    Something is up.

    Voters in upstate NY and Pennsylvania love Hillary, but that is why they live in burned -out factory towns. They simply don't know any better, and they keep thinking that "those good paying Union jobs" are going to come back any day now, if they just stick with the Mafia-ridden union....

    ...and vote for a former direcor of Wal-Mart.

    Have any of you ever BEEN to Pennsylvania? The whole State is built into the side of a hill....

    ...over an abandoend coal mine...that's been on fire since 1972.

    April 23, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  15. Jane


    April 23, 2008 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  16. Disgusted with democrats

    She's just too desperate for a female role model.

    I'm a woman who'ld love to see a woman become president but I just can't stand her scheming!

    Soon she'll toss us her divorce from Bill if she can't justify her next choke up.

    April 23, 2008 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  17. Ryan

    It's NOT 10% victory...it's single digit . Do the math 9.3%!

    April 23, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  18. TJ

    I love the intelligence these readers have. Do they really think Clinton
    won. (Ever heard winning the battle but loosing the war?) Obama did exactly what he set out to do in Pa, (do not let Clinton win with an overwhelming victory..).She gains what? A net gain of 3 delegates.?
    She is sinking, and she knows it..The longer this draws out, the better
    the Republicans look. They don't even have to spend their own money
    on negative ads, The Dems are doing a good job.

    April 23, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  19. tina

    this is the most painful debate i ever seen every one so worried about the black and white vote when this election is over what about the black and spanish people will they come together this is a question people wonder why most of the spanish race is voting for hillary why alright spanish people i smell a big fat rat

    April 23, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  20. Anthony

    It's funny how Sen Clinton can go negative so quickly, but when she makes a mistake it is written off. Has anyone noticed that her excuse for not correctly remembering her "hail of sniper fire" fiasco was that it was late (11pm)? However, one of her ad campaigns was "Who do you want answering the White House phone at 3am?" Based off of her reasoning, if 11pm is late, then she clearly isn't qualified to make decisions at 3am.

    April 23, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  21. Glen Wilson

    I find this newspapers's stand on this matter to be amusing. The Democratic Party has waged a seven year "war" against the Bush administration. Their tactics have included personal attacks, half truths, name calling etc.... Why would the New York Times expect anything different in the campaign. As an aside, the reference to Karl Rove is nonsense. The Democratic Party has their fair share of "Karl Rove's". The fact is that the state of American politics is poor. If the media outlets quit giving airtime to sound bites, half truths and personal smears, in other word once again became news organizations, maybe the nonsense would stop.

    April 23, 2008 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  22. Stephen

    Why does she stay in the race even though she cannot win?

    McCain is old. It will be tough for him to win two terms. Beat on Obama now, make him vulnerable. If she can't win this time, she will be back in 2012. But she can only be back in 2012, if McCain beats Obama now.

    It's all about Hillary. It's all about ambition.

    April 23, 2008 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  23. Lea Wakeman

    I totally agree with the NYT's analysis on Mrs. Clinton's attitude. I was a Hillary supporter earlier. But throughout her campaign process, she proved to be untrustworthy. She tarnishes the Democratic Party, she brings the campaign in an ugly and low moral level. Her so called victory in Pennsylvanian only sets up a further dirty example for the society: don't stand high, play any dirty tactics if you can to get where you want to be. She also corners her rival in an unfair way: if you try to be noble and rightful, and ignore her dirty tricks, then you'll be hit repeatedely, and you are weak; if you finally hit her back, then you play old politics.

    Let me tell you, Mrs. Clinton: when no body dare to vote against the Iraq war, Senetor Obama stood all alone and voted against it. This is a real toughness that you never had!

    April 23, 2008 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  24. Nicolas Smith

    Race and gender decided that election, competition for limited resources plays big in PA, OH, TX. Bitterness is not the word it is the Conflict sociological theory off course the PA clinton voters didn't do sociology 101.

    April 23, 2008 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  25. Shaun

    I was living in Bangladesh some years ago when Hilary clinton's biography was released. Everyone rushed to buy the book. It was clear that Hilary Clinton is very much admired around the world as someone who cares and who has the experience and ability to lead the American people. She is a strong fantastic woman who deserves the support of her people to be the first woman President of the US.

    The women of the world and progressive men and women around. She has the ability to turn around the American economy and world view. We congratulate her on her well deserved win in Piladelphia.

    April 23, 2008 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
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