Sunday, August 14, 2016

10 Sleaze-filled Moments in Presidential Politics

There must be decency and respect and veneration introduced for persons of authority of every rank or we are undone.

John Adams

Between veneration and mudslinging, I'll take mudslinging.

Just think how flavorless presidential races would be without it.

Thankfully, our nation's history runs rife with delectable cheap-shot moments:

  • Thomas Jefferson called his opponent John Adams “a hideous hermaphroditical character."
  • Andrew Jackson's opponent said Jackson was “a gambler, a cock fighter, a slave trader and the husband of a really fat wife.”
  • Martin Van Buren was accused by his opponent of secretly dressing in women’s undergarments and strutting in front of expensive mirrors.
  • Zachary Taylor called his opponent a "pot-bellied, mutton-headed cucumber."
  • Abraham Lincoln's opponent called him a "horrid-looking wretch, sooty and scoundrelly in aspect," and the "leanest, lankest, most ungainly mass of legs and arms and hatchet face ever strung on a single frame."
  • Rutherford B. Hayes' opponent claimed Hayes had shot his own mother in a fit of rage.
  • Grover Cleveland's opponent insisted Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate child while lawyering in Buffalo.
  • Woodrow Wilson's opponent accused him of having an extramarital affair with an attractive widow, Edith Galt, while his wife lay on her deathbed. Wilson wasn't helped any by a typo in The Washington Post. The paper reported the couple was seen attending a play, during which "the President spent most of his time entertaining Mrs. Galt." "Entertaining" was spelled "entering."
  • Herbert Hoover insisted his opponent, a Catholic from New York, had commissioned a secret, 3,500 mile-long tunnel connecting New York City and the Vatican. The tunnel would allow the Pope to control the US government's policies, were Hoover to lose the election.
  • Lyndon Johnson used a TV ad, “Peace, Little Girl,” to portray his opponent as a trigger-happy, hydrogen bomb-loving lunatic.

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