(Photo credits: Associated Press, DeAndre McDay)
(Photo credits: Associated Press, DeAndre McDay)

By AISHA MOHAMED, Guest Writer

As mudslinging escalates between President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney, voters need to remember dirty talk has always been exchanged between presidential candidates, ever since the time of Andrew Jackson and John Adams.

The most famous mudslinging was of Lyndon Johnson against Barry Goldwater called “Daisy Girl”. It was a black-and-white video of a young innocent girl standing in a field pulling out the petals of a daisy while counting wrongfully.

All of a sudden, the camera zooms into the girl’s dark black eyes and a NASA-like voice counts down. When it gets to the number zero, a bomb explodes at the field causing a huge flash of light. This one-minute video set the course for Johnson to be the president.

The dirty talk between candidates is to portray the other as someone who will not be able to handle responsibilities or make the wrong decisions, tarnishing their popularity.

For example, the Coffin Handbills by the John Adams administration attacked Andrew Jackson of marrying an adulterous woman and having a prostitute for a mother. Or the “Harry and Louise” which is a $20 million campaign that targeted President’s Bill Clinton’s healthcare plan in 1993.

Last president’s mudslinging was of George W. Bush, in the 2004 presidential election, accusing John Kerry of being a “flip-flopper (someone who continuously changes their policies).

In addition, hateful words were exchanged by Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft in 1912. Taft called Roosevelt a “dangerous egotist” and a “demagogue” and Roosevelt referred Taft as a “fathead” and “puzzlewit”. There was Hillary Clinton’s 3 am phone call portraying President Barack Obama as indecisive, but President Obama fought back with strong words winning the democratic nomination in 2008, “We’ve seen these ads before. They’re the kind that play on peoples’ fears to scare up votes”.

The recent mudslinging is President’s Obama campaign accusing Mitt Romney of tying the family dog on the roof of the car on a family trip, causing the death of a woman who was diagnosed with cancer, and alleging Romney is a felon. While Romney retaliated by blaming President Obama of cutting funding for Medicare and dividing the country.
Some of these attacks are whoppers or just exaggerated.

Each nominee, ever since voting began in the United States of America in 1789, has tried through every mean to win the voter’s vote so it’s nothing new what the recent candidates are doing. Mudslinging will continue on in every election for years to come, but let’s hope that forthcoming presidential nominees will be able to focus on leading the country and not on just on degrading the opponent.

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