February 20th, 2008
04:03 PM ET

Will we be spared a negative campaign?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama has apparently already struck fear into the hearts of the Republican power structure. He doesn't quite have the nomination yet, although it's a pretty good bet he's going to get it.

But John McCain couldn't wait for that formality. Apparently if you're John McCain, it's never too early to start calling people names. Last night while celebrating his victory in Wisconsin, McCain could have chosen to use the free air time he was given on all three cable news networks for advancing some of his ideas of how he thinks he can make the country better.

But instead, he chose to call Barack Obama names, referring to the Democrat's call for change as "eloquent but empty." This is school yard stuff and you'd think a 71-year-old member of the United States Senate would know better. The reason Obama has captured the imagination of the people in this country is because he has a long list of ideas on how to improve things. And in case you haven't noticed, we could use a little improvement around here.

Barack Obama was expected to draw a crowd of 20,000 people to a campaign event in Dallas, Texas, today. I wonder how many people showed up at McCain's last appearance.

Partisanship, name calling and gridlock are turning people's stomachs. Barack Obama has arrived on the scene like a breath of fresh air and if John McCain doesn't understand the significance of that, he has no more chance of becoming president than I do.

Here’s my question to you: What are the chances we’re spared a negative campaign when it comes to the general election?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

J.D. from New Hampshire writes:
The Republicans should think twice before going negative this time around. Both their candidate and his spouse have dirt in their past that would be best left buried. Americans are tired of the negative and are looking for the upbeat and positive; that's why there is an Obama tidal wave on the Democratic side.

Joyce writes:
For some reason, no one running for president but Obama seems to know how to not run a negative campaign. Despite how many times he wins in the primaries, they just don't seem to get it.

Sean from Severn, Maryland writes:
Not likely. Unfortunately, not even the political arena can escape the Jerry Springer Syndrome. The media love controversy and the candidates know this. And more importantly, can you even imagine a kinder, gentler John McCain? Didn't think so.

Vasilis writes:
Of course we won’t be spared a negative campaign. There's a reason the Republicans are more of the same, and there's a reason Barack Obama is vesting himself in going against this immaturity and perennial tasteless behavior on the part of politicians–and note how I say politicians, and not Republicans, because Mrs. Clinton falls into this same tactless category.

Joe writes:
"Bring em on!" The more attacks McCain throws, the deeper the hole he digs. Look at how well negative attacks have worked for Hillary. She went from front-runner to running out of votes, mine included. And the fun hasn't even started.

John from Marlton, New Jersey writes:
Jack, Zero chance. It will make “It’s Getting Ugly Out There” look like a children’s bedtime storybook.

Filed under: 2008 Election
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Spared a negative campaign? Not as long as Carl Rove is alive.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  2. Brian M. From Fort Mill, S.C.


    February 20, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Carol Quinley

    I truely believe that the general campaign wil not be as negative as during the last administrations run, however, if it is Clinton/Mccain it will slant more in a negative light than if it is Obama/McCain.just because of the inherent nature of personalities.
    Carol Q.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  4. TomY-town, OH

    Not good at all Jack.....but it would be interesting to see McCain and Clinton go at it and let the cat fight begin. Too bad it would be for the Presidency of this country....maybe we can get them on the ballot in Cuba and then they can destroy the morale of that country (yes, I believe they could drag it down a couple more notches easily)....what say?

    February 20, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  5. Diane Sadowy

    Yes, The republicans will make it negative and very scary. I am not looking forward to the debates. I think Obama can handle it better, Clinton has too much baggage with the republicans to respond without getting strident and angry.
    Riverhead, Long Island NY

    February 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  6. tina Texas

    Boy are you living in a dream world. We have never been spared the fighting and looks like this time the mud will really be slung by both sides. I just tune it out and that is why I have a tv flipper to change the channels.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  7. J.C. from Raleigh, NC

    "Do sharks ....... in the sea?" How can we be spared a negative campaign given the already tapped Republican candidate and the specter of Hillary eking out a nomination by delegate canard?

    Remember the way McCain ridiculed Romney during the Republican debates and his attack on Obama last night? Think of Hillary's negativity during the last few weeks-even attacking eloquence(the best bridge between dreams and solutions).

    If Obama were to get the Democratic nonination, he would have to deal in negativity or be perceived as a wimp.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:30 pm |

    slim and none.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  9. Sky - Idaho Falls, ID

    I think the chances are surprisingly good. McCain will learn from Hillary's self-destructive campaign that you can't go negative against someone as clean as a whistle, especially when that person refuses to be negative in return. On the other hand, if Hillary somehow pulls off the nomination in a brockered convention, then things will get very ugly.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  10. Greg from PA

    We will not be spared. For Democrats, just telling the truth about the failures of the Bush years is, by definition, negative campaigning. For Republicans, they will try to change the debate from the issues, which they will lose, to launch every variation of the "swift boat" attack ads that derailed Kerry in '04.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  11. lancelot stealth

    zero!...Mc Cain, a moderate in "conservatives clothing" can't wait to
    play the old "liberal card" against the democratic nominee. you know
    how bad those liberals are...they want to shut down the military and shut down every business in america. they're not good conservatives and christians like i am (when i'm told to be),
    i thing the democrats will have an easier time keeping the mud and the mud slinger in the mud slinger box,

    February 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  12. Jamie, NC


    February 20, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  13. Audrey Przybylski from Alexandria, Virginia

    I think we will see McCain going negative and using fear to attack the Democratic nominee. If Obama is the nominee he will remain positive by attacking the issues and staying above the "old political ways".

    It may start out negative but Obama will continue to rise above it and McCain will get nowhere by being negative.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    That's an easy one, Jack. We have a new term, "swiftboating," thanks to the kind of campaigns republicans run. When will politicians learn that attacking their opponents only makes them look desperate and pathetic.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  15. barry

    Very slim Jack, and if you look closely,even McCain's wife has gotten into the fray. McCain has tried to stay away from negative campaigning but the urges keep coming back,like an addiction. This is really a contest between the past and the future.It is a shame that it will not be carried out in a civilised manner putting into consideration the age difference here(hahaha) and the funny thing is that the older senator will come out the dirtier of the two.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  16. Christian Chicago, IL

    I think the chances are 50/50 that we are spared a negative campaign. Empty but eloquent is a very fair assessment of Obama and his failure to speak about real policy, something the media has failed to point out. I for one, however, hope we are not "spared" a negative campaign.We need to see that we will have a president who is battle tested and will be able to overcome adversity. We all know that is true of John McCain. Barack Obama on the other hand is the kid sitting at the adults' table. He needs to spend some more time at the kids' table and isn't ready yet to lead this country. If he is the Democratic nominee, this will become very evident to the American people.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  17. Reuben Huggleby

    Spared a negative campaign? In America? Please Jack, don't be silly. The two best ways to combat a message of hope is to scare the public and blast the messenger. This is going to get ugly and quick

    February 20, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  18. Casey

    Can we hope? LOL After voting for 40+ years I had hoped that adults would learn to express themselves and their goals without mud slinging ... That hope went out the window last night. You would think that individuals running for the presidency would be an example of how to accomplish your goals without acting like spoiled children. Guess that's not going to happen in our lifetime.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  19. Jim Hoffman


    I am a Vietnam Vet and I have no animosity towards McCain but I can assure you that there are two sides to McCain and he can switch to a dirty foul mouthed scoundrel in an instant and he, and his cronies, will go out of their way to make the compaing dirty. He is already starting down that road.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  20. James in Cape Coral,FL

    The same as Clinton getting the dem. nomination, slim to none. Obama can pack stadiums full of people who want him to be President. He win's state after state by more than a small ammount of votes and does the one thing the republicans haven't done in decades, inspire American's to believe in our government. McCain's not stupid, he see's the voter turn out for Obama and knows his only hope of continuing Bush's war is to drag Obama's name through the mud as often as possible. However Clinton's tried it and I'm afraid it doesn't work. Obama's far too popular with American's to be set back by what McCain say's. And don't sell yourself short Jack, you tell it like it is and thats what we want, I'd vote for you.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  21. Julie

    Does anyone know how Obama is going to get the Republicans to cooperate with the Democrats? Bill Clinton tried very hard to cooperate with them in the 1990s and they still stood strong against him and the Democrats. What if Obama wins in November and they take a hard stance against issues like health care and Iraq? Obama can HOPE they don't do this, but what if they do? Hope isn't going to make them do it- a good strategy is. What strategy does Obama propose? Has be been in Congress long enough to know what hasn't worked and has he had enough time to figure out a way to think of a better one?

    February 20, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  22. W B in Las Vegas


    given that this Republican administration's policies have destroyed the American industrial base, outsourced millions of good paying manufacturing and high tech jobs overseas and bankrupted the Federal Treasury, the ONLY way they can win in November is the same old "Fear & Smear" and "Swiftboating" lies that worked against John Kerry in 2004.

    hopefully this time "We Don't Get Fooled Again" BUT I wouldn't book it.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  23. Alan from San Angelo, TX

    Nil, nada, zippo. Thanks to 527's and their issue oriented negative ads, once again Americans will pull the lever for the least disgusting candidate. They all look intoxicating before convention, but somehow turn into someone you mistakenly took home from a dark bar by November.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  24. Terry North Carolina

    If Obama is the canidate, I believe he will try and run a positive campaign, however I dont believe the republicans will. John McCain will go after Obama with both barrels and this will force Obama to shoot back. No one wins in this kind of contest, it turns voters off.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  25. Beth from Michigan

    As it looks now, there is little chance we can avoid at least a one sided negative campagn. McCain will have little choice but to attach Obama since he can't compete on issues. If Obama is the man he seems to be he will continue to keep his head above the Republican blood bath.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  26. Thomas, Tallahassee FL

    That wasn't negative campaigning, it was a very valid point; and none of the Obamaniacs seem to have an answer for it besides "stop being mean." Obama is amazingly skilled at inspiring people by saying absolutely nothing of substance, and a few of us actually realize it rather than fall for it.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  27. Doug from Bloomington IN

    Jack, don't be so hard on yourself. You'd run a swell campaign against John McCain. He's more of the same and you definitely are not.
    The republicans have always dragged out the smear campaign. That's their problem. To paraphrase the president in the movie "The American President" : "It isn't that [the republicans] don't get it, its that they can't sell it!"
    Six months ago, I could have almost voted for McCain. But as history shows, the republicans primary in the middle and then once nominated, they run to the right to pander to their "base". John McCain is following the script. He is like Bush I: he has put his principles in a blind trust and decided to go against his own instincts to become the same old republican that we're sick of.
    Don't fall for it, Barak!

    February 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  28. Greg from PA

    We will not be spared. For Democrats, just telling the truth about the failures of the Bush years is, by definition, negative campaigning. For Republicans, they will try to change the debate from the issues, which they will lose, to launch every variation of the “swift boat” attack ads that derailed Kerry in ‘04. From the Alabama of Pennsylvania, Mechanicsburg, PA.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  29. Len Brooks


    If Barack Obama wins the Democratic Party's endorsement, I think you will see a battle royale between the two parties. Let's face it, Obama is empty, copying his policies and part of his speeches from everyone else. Sure he is a great speaker...Hitler was a great speaker and could get the crowd cheering and fainting too! He'll have his 15 minutes of glory at the expense keeping the republicans in the White House. I am so discouraged. It reminds me of the fable "The Emperors New Clothes". We have someone just telling us what we want to hear. When it is all over we'll all be standing naked before the world.

    Len Brooks
    Wellington FL

    February 20, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  30. Penny Lane Fairview, Texas

    Slim and none but it is a necessary evil. Obama sounds good but is really not much about anything. Each and every idea Obama has costs tax payers money. I will give you an example from his speech last night where he said he would subsidize every one for health care to the tune of $2500 a year and the really low income he would subsidize even more. So since there are 303 million people in the US, that would cost $757,500,000,000. ¾ of a trillion dollars a year. Now that’s a chunk of " CHANGE" for force fed medical coverage that will do little for middle class America. Who pays for all of this? Tax payers do. So if Obama is elected president he starts out the first year with a 3/4 of a Trillion dollar a year deficit. That is not quite the idea America had when they heard him say "CHANGE".

    February 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  31. Aaron from Kentucky

    I'm a republican and I will not vote for John Mccain, negative campaigning or not.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  32. Buster in Poughkeepsie

    The chance of having a positive campaign in the general election has about as much likelihood as getting Jack Cafferty to sprout a pompadour, don a pair of wayfarers and shake his money-maker as he does a rendition of Jailhouse Rock. It just ain't gonna happen.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  33. Mark


    Are you serious? This will be the biggest smear job on a candidate in political history. I have heard, through an acquaintance on my Congressman's staff, that the first attack ad on Obama will air a few minutes after his convention speech, and that will be only the start. Every ad will use his middle name, and will concentrate on rumors about his early years and Islam. This will work; McCain will win handily – they won't have to steal the election this time.

    Why Obama's supporters can't see this coming is something I can not fathom, but I suspect that the media sees it plainly, and are biding their time.

    February 20, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  34. Tom C

    Jack, I have a better chance of living to 120 than I have of not seeing a negative general election campaign. It's just too easy for politicians to start jabbing each other when the pressure mounts and the stakes are so high. I'd bet my house that if one of them could totally avoid attacks on their opponent, the American piblic would sit up and take notice.

    Tom in Roch, NY

    February 20, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  35. Jr, San Diego

    zero chance.

    McCain will go negative hard on Obama. He already is. Obama isn't ready for it.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  36. Josh Davis

    Slim to Nil Jack, get ready for a wild ride in the general election. I'm from Canada so it will sort of entertain me but on the other hand I support Obama to be the next president so i am sure the republican propaganda machine will leave my stomach twisted in anger and we all know Obama will strike back but strategically, so get ready Jack because its going to get ugly out there!

    February 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  37. Cassandra


    I believe if Barack gets the nomination McCain will try to play nasty for a while, but I don't see that lasting long. He only has a small group of Republicans listening to him anyway. I don't feel McCain will sway any person away from Barack, seeing how I normally change the channel when he speaks. I feel like I am listening to my grandfather talk about the good old days and beware of the boogy man in Iraq!
    Barack gets you to listen!! You can't get anywhere or do anything if people will not listen to you! When Barack sticks to the message and doesn't give the negative the time of day, he looks like the bigger person. I really like McCain, but as a young voter feel he is disconnected to the future. Does he know how to check email or use a PDA? If so maybe I will give him more credit.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  38. Scott

    I think it will be better than the last presidential election – But remember the candidates themselves don't have all the say in all the ads The same old negative ads will be there in force.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  39. Nuwan Samaranayake

    Absolutely Zero... Polics has become so dirty, nobody will be able to run without a negetive campaign. Even Obama will have to resort to that dirty politics if we has to fight McCain. These politician runs negetive campaign because there is a big audiance who buy in to it. So it works. Otherwise they would not do that. So we the people are encouraging these politicians to resort to a negetive campaing. If you think Obama will stay clear, wait for few more months and you will see.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    February 20, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  40. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Once again slim and none. It's un-American to play fair when your trying to win for your party, like McCain. The gloves will come off starting Thursday night in Austin between O and C because desperate people like Hillary will take "Desperate Measures", oops was that the title of a movie that I didn't give credit too or ask permission? Mr. Cafferty, I'm really surprised that you asked this question, because there are such things as stupid questions. By the way a reporter would ask you how that makes you feel. That's suppose to be a joke!

    February 20, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  41. Tony

    If its a McCain-Obama fight, Yes. These two know how to debate and stick to issues. They dont have to resort to negative tactics to get their points across.

    If its Clinton-McCain, it will be all out attacks on everything from his age, to his height, to his wife's choice of wedding dress. The Clintons know NO OTHER way.

    Tony, Washington, DC

    February 20, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  42. wallflower

    TV time is precious and should be spent wisely. Negative 'good-old boy-politics' name-calling looks like an endorsed and integral part of McCain's campaign policy and is indicative of what lies beneath the surface. It is ugly, and he even has his wife dishing it as well.

    Why would anyone vote for such closed-mind negativity for the next four years, when the country is in recession, at war, and at the crossroads of good or evil. Better watch the signs, things can get worse.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  43. Brian, Fl

    Jack, I like Sen McCain, but the GOP will have him make a field day
    at Sen Obama in november. President Bush and his war cronies
    would not have it any other way.
    Some people just can't die in peace.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  44. Kristi from Indiana

    Oh you can count on the negative campaign tactics coming from McCain's camp, just as they have been coming from the Clinton camp.
    In fact, I think Senator McCain is already stealing Hillary's thunder and using the same arguments that she is. So hopefully, she'll just let him do the dirty work and leave the Dems with an untarnished image during this last leg of the campaign. Am I only dreaming?

    February 20, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  45. Kasabubu Cheltenham, London, England, UK, The Universe

    A little bark,maybe, but no bite at all. An attack by a political chihuahua: that's what McCain's speech came across as. The laboured way he read off the teleprompter also contrasted very unfavourably with Obama's smooth, soaring style last night. McCain will need to do a lot better to stand any chance come the autumn.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  46. mike studders, bay city, mi.

    jack, i had really hoped that mc cain would be less negative than some of the other republican candidates. i still hope that i am right. obama should stay above it..most of us are sick to death of negative ads. these attacks widen the gap between americans, at a time when it is already too wide. lord knows there is enough differences between these two, as to give us a real choice. years ago someone asked why there was so much negative advertising? and the reply was, because it works. well it didn't work for hillary in wisconsin perhaps there is hope for american voter, finally!

    February 20, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  47. Keith

    Jack, how can we be spared negative campaigning in the general election when it's already started?

    If anyone is naive enough to believe McCain's folks won't resort to negative campaigning, they're in denial.

    Remember "Swiftboat"?

    They won't have the Senate. They won't have the House. Give up the Presidency too? Well, you can figure out the rest.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  48. Kevin, Ohio

    Anyone who is or was a student of history knows there has never been a general election without negative attacks. Negative attacks tend to spice up the election for voters and give voters a sense of idea who they should really vote for or who is truly worth will in leading the country in the right direction. Why not have negative attacks? Voters want to know about those skeletons that are hidden in candidates closet.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  49. Sharon from Michigan

    Maybe John McCain could hire Karl Rove, I hear he's out of work. The Republicans are notorious for their personal attacks. I think it will become a pointed, personal, negative campaign. They will try everything to downgrade Barack Obama. The good thing is, I don't think it will work. People have become wise to these kind of tactics.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  50. Linda

    The words "slim" and "none" come to mind, Jack. What the political insiders don't seem to get yet is that the American people are TIRED of the same old negative campaign as usual. It's just another reason why Obama is doing so well.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  51. Michael"C" in Lorton, Virgiinia

    Are you serious? It is only round one........and the best is yet to come.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  52. James Lafayette, IN

    Jack, I'm sure that John McCain's style will be increasingly negative. This geezer has come a long way from that "school yard" you refer to and his potty mouth is still intact. Why would he change anything now?
    It does seem as though Republicans keep offering us these geriatric curmudgeons. Remember Bob Dole who told us that all of the wars of the 20th century were "Democrat wars"? Who knows, when he loses the election, John will likely be cast in another one of those Hollywood "Grumpy Old Men" movies. Better that than president!

    February 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  53. Tom

    1,099,661 Democrates and 384,358 Rupublicans voted in Wisconsin. The numbers indicate the Republicans are not happy with their candidate. Sniping is Senator McCains old fashion politics way of trying to destroy the opposition. Senator McCain is a tired politician who continues to try to justify George Bush's undefendable policies and record. He is not ready for a new style politician who wants America to become the America is should be. Seventy percent of the electorate doesn't like where America is at or the direction it is heading but Senator McCain refuses to recognize his way maverick ways are not what is called for at this time to get America back on track. Tom in MN

    February 20, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  54. Shawn from Michigan

    I don't see much of a chance at all of us being spared a negative campaign. Neither man is even the nominee but McCain has already taken it upon himself to attack Barack Obama in the same manner that has worked so awfully for Hillary Clinton. Does McCain have no idea that there is dramatically more ammunition in his congressional career than you can shake a stick at? Maybe Clinton and McCain would have gotten along in the general election. It appears that they are both bloviating gas bags.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  55. MizLiz

    McCain's a fine one to talk about "eloquence".........
    my friends
    my friends
    my friends
    my friends

    Someone should take him aside & tell him to quit, already.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  56. gerry

    Jack, surely you jest.

    The Republicans are afraid of Obama.And negativity is their stock in trade.

    Poor Mc Cain knows that only too well, having himself been a victim of it in 2000 when he challeneged 'W' for the Republican nomination.

    And to see him cow-towing to Bush 41 a few days ago was pathetic.

    McCain cannot see his way forward in a toe-to-toe battle against Obama unless he is negative, because he(Mc Cain) does not think he has enough of his own positives to persuade the voters.

    You're right.It's ugly out there, and it will get uglier.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  57. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    As I watched McCain's speech, I cringed. Looks like we're in for a long haul to election time. The swiftboaters will come out of the woodwork as soon as Obama gets the nomination. This election will make a street brawl look like afternoon tea at grandmas house. That said, Obama (if he wins), will handle it with eloquence and grace, and go on to win the election. He does not have the baggage Hillary does.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  58. Bonnie

    Jack, that depends on your definition of negative. I'm an independent and I have not decided on how I will vote this year. My only wish is that the media get real and start doing their job. Let's see some real stuff on what Obama has accomplished. All I heard from GW Bush (go back and listen to the tapes) was "spiritual" melodrama when he was running in 2004. He energized the crowds just like Obama is doing now...perhaps he's listened to the tapes and is copying that format like he copied a previous political speech. All I want from this campaign is what I always was...the resume. Give me the resume of the past and the specifics for the future.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  59. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Going by the examples you just gave, it already started. But the attacks clearly aren't working for Hillary Clinton so I doubt they'll work for McCain. He's TRULY "more of the same" when America wants NONE of the same.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  60. Daniel From Tempe AZ

    Please Jack, this is politics, without the negativity it would be boring, and the media certainly does not want to put us to sleep do they? If the nominees can not tell us what, and how they are going to do something, which i am still waiting to hear, they can only bash their opponent!

    February 20, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  61. California Voter

    Jack, I'm not sure what negative campaigning is. So far no one has called each other nasty names. However, I have heard the news media and Obama's camp talk about negative campaigning, It must mean if Hillary or McCain say anything that challenges Obama it is negative. Headlines say Clinton/McCain attack Obama. On the other hand if Obama "attacks" Hillary it is called a "jab". Sounds like just words to me.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  62. Bruce St Paul MN

    I'm afraid the Republican party will be visited by the ghosts of elections past. They just can't help themselves. It's what they are good at. They can't defeat the message so they will try to discredit the messenger. They have done it many times before, including their tricks against John McCain in 2000. They will swift-boat, they will imply, insinuate. They will lean on syndicated columnists, "fair and balanced" news reporters, radio talking heads, maybe even some of their so-called think tanks and research institutes. And it will all blow up in their face. The Obama campaign will not join the fracas, and there will be a righteous backlash among the electorateThe rules have changed, but they old guard won't believe it until they are thrown out.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  63. Lyn from Petoskey Michigan

    Jack – you're one of the few we can count on to say exactly what we are thinking. Thank you – and we certainly won't escape the negativity when Barack is the nominee – how else can they fight back when his policies, presence and postures are unassailable?

    February 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  64. Vinnie Vino

    The only way the Republicans can keep the White House is to engage in the artful world of negative mud slinging. In order to hide the record of the past 7 & 1/2 years of the 2 men who destroied the Repulican Party...

    C.I, New York

    February 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  65. john marlton nj

    Jack, zero chance, it will make “It’s Getting Ugly Out There” look like a childrens bedtime story book

    February 20, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  66. Stan in Sparta, Tennessee

    I was thinking slim to none until I heard McCain's speach last night. That eliminated the slim chance.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  67. onenibble

    Jack, chances are almost zero, but a good negative campaign gets the blood boiling and is very exciting. It doesn't really matter who wins because the promises of change and messages of hope articulated in the campaign blow away in the political winds as, so much hot air in the daily routine of the Washington establishment.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  68. Darrell

    None, the Republicans are still playing the fear game. What John should be doing is getting his speech writers together and start copying Obama's speeches, because without change, and I mean real change he won't be elected. Quite frankly, when It turns my stomach to even say Republican Presidential Candidate. Is it Nov. 4th yet? Jack, change just can't come soon enough.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  69. Ed in MA


    Pubs don't have anything positive they can say about their track record, so thier only course of action is to attack.

    You can always count on the Republicans to wage their over worked war on fear, by casting Democrats as cut and run cowards. And McCain the cranky old hot head will blow his cool whenever anyone challenges him on his military (mind) which simply madness.

    To quote McCain on Larry King, "Sure 100 years, hey look I know whats best for the people of this country." Sadly, like GWB, McCain thinks he knows what's best for all countries.

    Plus as long as they have Rove hanging around Fox news, the attackers and swift boat producers will jump on any little word that Barack or Michelle say that might be misconstrued as not "Patriotic enough to be in the whitehouse."

    February 20, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  70. Ben from D.C.

    Obama hasn't run a negative driven campaign but has fought back, to an extent, when attacked. Either way, Obama supporters are pretty much settled on him. McCain needs the conservatives and the independents. The problem is alienating one which I'm sure is going to happen.

    If and when this does happen, it will be politics as usual.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  71. Diane/Allentown, PA

    It's already started Jack. McCain is starting on Obama and his wife is "cleverly" slamming Michelle. Hillary has all but disappeared obviously.

    The sad part is, by the time the McCain's really get the dirt rolling, it'll be too late when they realize Obama doesn't rise to that bait, and they end up looking foolish.

    I think the days of Karl Rove are over. OK – I can hope, right?

    February 20, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  72. J.D. in New Hampshire

    The Republicans should think twice before going negative this time around. Both their candidate and his spouse have dirt in their past that would be best left buried. Americans are tired of the negative and are looking for the upbeat and positive – that's why there is an Obama tidal wave on the Democratic side.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  73. Kim NY

    Zero chance,but then again,there have been some very negative things going on for a very long time now.You will have two very differnt Ideologies..but still the welfare/warfare curse will go on.May the sanest,most likely to succeed plan for America win. God help us.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  74. Lynn in Holland, Ohio

    Jack the chance is nil. I for one really do not mind negative campaigns if ,in fact, the substance of the ads is accurate. However, more often than not, particularly those coming from "the values party", are blatant lies. I believe we could be served well by legislation against ads that contain outright falsehood or ficticious inuendo.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  75. Tim

    What are the chances? In a word Jack...none. Sen. McCain is definitely living in fear of the prospect of going up against Obama. Sen. McCain knows that he is better off attacking Obama now to get a head start, because during the general election he would just look like any other politician running for President. His old age, his old style of politics, and his lack of resources will all become issues for him in the future. So, go ahead John...have at it! Your loss is inevitable anyway.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:47 pm |

    Jack, are you kidding? This McCant - Bush II - and he wants to be W's third term. He had his crony buddies and W's cronies too are ready to run Hillary or Obama into the dirt. But I hope McCant continues to sell his line that the Democrats will open the door and invite the terrorists in. I mean PLEASE who in this country believes that? Only the die-hard republicans.

    Bring it on, McCant and Satan Rove... I am smarter than the two of you combined and so are most of the American people!

    February 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  77. Ken KS

    You can"t be serious! You could bring Ronald Reagan back to run against George McGovern in 2008 and Karl Rove with his Republican Dirt Churning Machine would crank out every swift boat tactic imaginable to ensure a Reagan victory, like he'd even need it. Obama will get his first real taste of punches if he is the Democratic nominee, and it will be really ugly. I hate to say this, but I think we're in for another four years of Bush and Cheney, with McCain at the helm.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  78. Bruce Hendrickson

    Three chances, fat, slim and none. The swift-boating has already started with a whisper campaign trying to link Obama with 'terrorists' in Kenya. That's like the 2000 rumor spread by Rove and company that McCain has a black child. The real negative campaigning will begin when there is a clear democratic nominee.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  79. John from Carlsbad


    Slim and none and slim just went out the door.

    McCain is an old school politician just as Hillary is. They think politics should be dirty, personal and as Hillary has said so many times "I can take a punch"

    Why can't we have politics without punches and more politics with a handshake. That is what Obama brings and his hand will be slapped down by McCain followed by a right cross to his jaw.

    McCain will use the politics of fear that Bush has used to dupe people for 8 years and scare people into thinking Obama will get us attacked. I for one hope it doesn't work because I don't think our country can take 4 more minutes of Bush tactics and policies rather than 4 more years.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  80. Roy

    Since the coverage of the marathon campaign has seemed like a cross between a soap opera and Anna Nichole Smith's funeral, nothing that comes down the pike will be a surprise. Let's get Mike Bloomburg to moderate debates (if he doesn't run). He will not let the candidates off the hook in answering questions.

    February 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  81. Maggie

    Spared a negative campaign? Please, the groundlings have to be fed something banal and ridiculous while the writer's guild gets back up to speed to distract them with something more showy. What better than the biggest, scuzziest reality show possible in the US?

    February 20, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  82. John Lundin

    What are the chances we’re spared a negative campaign when it comes to the general election?

    We've already been given an answer to that question. McCain has been quoted non-stop since his speech last night after the Wisconsin vote that Obama represents nothing but eloquent hollow promises. The mud is going to get much deeper between now and November.

    San Marcos CA

    February 20, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  83. Tom from Illinois

    Not a chance. The last election showcased the bitter divide between Bush-supporters and Bush-haters, and while that will have less of a presence here, each of the parties had more bickering and negative ads in their own primaries than we've seen in a long time. And they're supposed to LIKE each other. What do you think is going to happen when they aren't?

    February 20, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  84. Paulette Bent Dallas,PA

    The chances are ZERO Jack! McCain is a desperate old man grasping at his last chance to become President. I have read many articles about him and know that he cannot even get dressed himself. As Ann Coulter said in her latest column – there are many prisoners of war,"Why not make anyone of them President?" McCain keeps bringing that up. America does not owe its demise to John Mccain because of his prisoner of war status. He knew fully well what he was signing up for when he entered the service.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  85. Don Fannin (Cincinnati, OH)

    Of course it will be a dirty campaign, politics is a dirty business. On the other hand I thought I heard Obama start his reference to McCain with "Well, what about John McCain?" And I revere and honor John McCain's service to this country." So all may not be lost.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  86. Aisha (I-Sha),KY

    I doubt it! McCain's already has his arsenal ready.

    -Aisha KY

    February 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  87. mike

    there is not a snow balls chance in hell that they won't be negative. wait till the swift boat boys get their claws into obama and his wife. thge things they did to john kerry were mild compared to what they have cooked up. don't ever let facts get in the way of a good lie i only hope obama doesn't take it lieing down like kerry did.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  88. terry

    HI JACK: There"s NO way it's not going negative,The powers out there have way too much to lose,There going to push each and every button ,Every slimball they can get their hands on-FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE -THAT THE"VE PAID AND HAVE IN TheirPOCKETS OVER THEPAST 50 OR SO YEARS!One has to wonder why the USA HAS FORGOTTEN THE REASONS why they fought the for their own county! SO the people could say what they want to be done in their name;In their county and abroad! TERRY -VANCOUVER .

    February 20, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  89. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Slim and none and none is winning. The swift-boaters are already licking their chops at the prospect of bringing doiwn Obama. They have so much material to work with. Michele's "Proud to be an American only now" comment,Change,"I used drugs in college",Obama's supporters not being able to name one thing he has done to qualify him to be president and many,many more. We've only just started and the **** is really going to hit the fan!

    February 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  90. California Independent

    I hope not. The Democrats have demonstrated with this campaign, yet again, how weak they are. The whole kumbaya, can't we all get along, let's pretend there is nothing wrong.... a great distraction, but not relevant to the serious issues facing this country.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  91. Chuck B Coastal NC

    Jack, the answer to this question is NO. The only way the GOP will have a chance to keep the white house is by going negitive, that is there way.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  92. Jorge from Monterey, California

    Come on... you know McCain is already attacking Obama and helping Clinton on the attacks!! but that is just Weakness!!!!!

    February 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  93. Jim Bloom

    A Republican from Arizona named Barry Goldwater once proposed to President John F. Kennedy that if they were running against each other, they travel across the country campaigning together. According to the documentary "Mr. Conservative", Kennedy liked the idea. Such an effort by either Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton and John McCain would prevent us from another toxic election.

    Chicago, IL

    February 20, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  94. Tim in Fort Hood Texas

    The chances are the same as Hillarys, Jack, slim and none.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  95. Les Young

    Jack have you been smoking something McCain has aready started the only thing he does not do it very well he comes off as a Angry old man. The gall Republican have in call themself consertives they have spent more money on this war which we had no business be in to start with. The RNC will be staying up late at nights trying to pick out points which will divide the country even more. I think people are a lot smarter than a few years ago.

    The old Okie

    February 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  96. Rick , Bivalve New Jersey


    That would greatly depend on what you mean by negative campaigning... one mans's negative is another man's spin control.

    Rick Bivalve, NJ

    February 20, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  97. Richard Craig

    The negative campaign has started. Michelle Obama is being quoted as saying " for the firs time in my adult life, I am proud of America" This is an edited quote that one word was removed. The original quote was " for the first time in my adult life I am really proud of America" Check the original quote on Cspan. Tha one word makes all the difference in the world

    DIck Craig
    New Castle Pa.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  98. Roy P

    Look at the menu Jack. You have Opec John with a no trust crust and No plana Obama with a "FIRM" crust. This salad will require a lot of camouflage, dressing and diversion. The issues will be forgotten. Folks, if you see a turtle on a fense post, somebody put it there. The division is well greased and ready to cook.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  99. David

    Jeez Jack, its already kind of ugly and the Dems don't even have a nominee. You think these people can have a mature discourse? That may be idealistic.


    University of Richmond

    February 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  100. Jed from Chico, CA

    I tend to agree with Obama's sentiments from his Op-Ed piece in the USA Today today regarding independent investors. Whie I'm fairly certain the candidates' public campaign will be mostly clean, possibly with an occassional jab or low blow, we will not be spared a negative campaign. Indeed those independent of the campaign; the pundits, surrogates, columnists and talkshow hosts will be in an out-and-out verbal 'Smackdown' replete with rehetoric-laden folding chairs upside the head and philisophical body slams to the judges' table. Indeed it will be a contest reminiscient of old school 'wrasslin fights'.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  101. Jim Galvin

    Yes. With respect to Mr. McCain, he most likely will be out of the race, due to health reasons, by the end of August.

    Following some re-shuffling at the top of the GOP, the campaign will somberly resume with Obama leading Romney 70-30 in all polls.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  102. Gigi in Alabama

    If you say something with force and long enough the masses will believe it . . . isn't that the Rove way of doing things? Mr. Obama had better watch his backside because they're coming after him with every nasty thing they can drag up . . . it really doesn't matter to them that there'll be no truth to it.
    Wouldn't you think we could see through this after all we've seen and heard in the last eight years?

    February 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  103. Sandra Edwards


    One would like to think that John McCain would not engage in the same kind of negative attacks that he has been the recipient of from the right wing of the Republican party. However, I am awfully afraid that his desire to be President is so great that he will participate in negative attacks directed at Obama. We have already seen what fellow Democrats Billary will do.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  104. Eli of Stockbridge

    Would it be a election without little piles of dirt all over the place? Frankly, I think the viewing public is turned off until they get behind closed doors. Obama has tried to show the way, but McCain and Clinton are to old school to try running on their own records.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  105. Russ in PA

    All of you republicans are going to regret not choosing Ron Paul as your candidate. He doesn't pander, and he's not a cranky old man. And his voting record is so much better than Obama's...

    February 20, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  106. Augustino

    When have we ever seen a campaign that didn't delve into the "muck" at times if not more often. Heck! It's politics my friend and politicians, well they are what they are. Junk yard dogs that love to kick up dust and stir up dirt to cloud the water and sky hoping that their chances of being elected get better, the more convoluted the atmosphere becomes.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  107. Greg from Houston

    As long as it's Obama vs. McCain the negative attacks should be confind to the 527's.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  108. Mike Orlando


    There is no way the GOP will be positive in any general election. The Republicans always adapt the 'Divide and Rule' policy. Even if this means diving Americans and America right down the middle. As we have seen in the past, history has always seen the divide and rule fail at some point or the other. It happened to the British and it can happen to the GOP and unfortunately to America if the GOP continues the divide America tactic to win elections.


    February 20, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  109. Stephanie from Alabama

    A campaign with no negative ads? I'd give my eye teeth to see it, but I don't expect it. Negative Campaigns have been around as long as Campaigns have. Until our politicians grow up and stop throwing mud at each other like children, we will never see a non-negative campaign. We can't even have it here on the blogs.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  110. Bernie

    The negative campaign has been in motion fora very long time.

    The basis of John McCain's spin is that the Democrats will be 'weak on terror'.

    The fear factor still keeps the Republicans with their only chance at victory.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  111. millard farmer

    That's all McCain can do is talk about what the dems can't do, instead of what he is going to do. It appears that a vote for McCain is a vote for the same. Maybe it's me, but is there anyone else out there who falls asleep when McCain speaks, or is it just me. I think that the Republicans assumed that they are going to lose, so why ruin a 'good' candidate's future in this election.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  112. Jimmy D.

    I don't know how they can go on without being negative Jack, all I know is I will enjoy every single minutes of it.
    Miami, FL.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  113. jason Cambridge, OH

    Have we ever experienced a positive campaign when it comes to general elections and if so, when? Perhaps I'm not old enough to have lived through one. Seems to me when one candidate starts to get a little scared of another, that's when the name calling starts. Have none of their advisors told them the American public has no stomach for it anymore? All McCain needs to do is point out Obama's stance on core issues like the second amendment, big government spending, amnesty for illegals and his apparent love of the UN. It doesn't take a lot of digging to uncover some shady, backroom dealings on this guy. The problem with McCain is that he's not a GQ cover guy like Obama. A large percentage of Americans buy shiny packages as consumers and we can only hope that isn't how they're going to vote in the general election. Yes, change is good. We all want it. The liberals all think change means fascism with a smile. Do we really want less rights than we have now under the Bush regime?

    February 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  114. D. Williams

    D. Williams – Miami, FL

    We have just about as good a chance of avoiding a negative campaign as Hillary has at winning the Democratic nomination. Slim to none. McCain can't wait to try to swift boat Obama they way it was done to him.

    That's part of the problem Jack. That's why we are voting for change. Hillary and John only know what was done to them so they only see fair to do it to the next guy.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  115. Lin

    John McCain speech was very telling of what is going to come .It sounded very Reaganish. For the first time I saw a man who can win the presidency. What he said about obama is just the beginning. The Rezko trial will be the cherry on the icecream. The republicans might just be able to keep the whitehouse who would have thought.

    an american living in Montreal
    who will vote in Nov.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  116. Darby, Sprucedale

    No chance, but it doesn't matter. A ham sandwich could beat McCain in November–all the Dems have to do is keep showing clips of McCain and Bush hugging and kissing.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  117. Bill fm Texas

    Spared a negative campaign? Never! The public loves the mud slinging. They wouldn't have it any other way. The advertisers love it too. Their profits will be in the billions. No, get ready for some of the nastiest campaigns in our history.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  118. Orien

    McCain is from the old school. They are not about change and will be negative. He knows no other way. He is biting at the bit and can't wait for the first blast of smoke to clear in order to get at Obama. And then watch Obama clean house and use his words (McCain's) against him.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  119. Michael Inverness FL

    Jack, You have a better chance of becoming God than that occuring. Let The Muck Throwing Festival begin

    February 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  120. Jim H

    McCain will attack Obama relentlessly, hoping that he wil buckle at the knees. This of course would be only fair as McCain is but 5'7" tall and thus will need all the lift he can get by having Obama look up for a "change"

    February 20, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  121. Angela

    The chances of being spared a negative campaign is there is no chance. There are too many special interests in politics aside from the party front runners who want the position, power and privilege they will enjoy if their candidate wins and those entities will do whatever it takes.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  122. Ed

    Jack.. Hillary been attack for years, there's nothing left to throw at her, her enemies are her enemies yet she still lead McCian, but Obama is fresh meat. The charges of plagiarism alone will defeat him. I saw Obama go off message and briefly shaken when Bill
    gave him a "friendly" hard time. Republicans won't . November is a long time to keep an emotional high.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  123. Eric

    Zero chance as long as the Republicans are allowed to speak. They will resort to the same fear and smear tacticts that put them in the Whitehouse. Can someone issue a gag order?

    February 20, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  124. Kenneth Adderley

    McCain has already launched negative campaigning, so there's no chance of that happening. Consider McCain's moral example of the high road. That morality led him to distort deliberately Senator Obama’s words about bombing Pakistan in the hope that ignorant Americans will buy that rhetoric without examining the context of those words. Those words have a context, but Conservative Republican honesty does not go that far.

    McCain’s high road morality instructs us in electrifying empty words that they are the only ones who know how to “keep Americans safe, propserous, and proud.” These are very good words, and if they are original with John McCain (you do the research and tell us what you find) then we are blessed to have such a man as our leader. But since McCain’s morality leads him to question Obama’s character the question you pundits should ask is: “Did John McCain plaigiarize Obama when he said in a very loud voice as he ended his stump speech: “I’m fired up and ready to go.” Americans did not hear him cite that he was using the words of Barack Obama. So when he infers that Obama has a “confused” and base morality of “empty words,” should he not be speaking about himself as well?

    February 20, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  125. Dylan from Davenport, IA.

    What? Be spared a negative campaign? Don't make me laugh. The friendliest campaign would be between Obama and McCain: Obama wouldn't defame his image by too many negative attacks, and McCain wouldn't be able to find anything HIllary hasn't already tried. So the answer is no, we won't be spared a negative campaign. Will it be better than usual? Yes, by far.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  126. john, ma.

    Look if Hillary dosen't go negative, the Republicans will.
    We will be better off now because if they "Obama" can't take it how will they later.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  127. Deborah in Philly,PA

    Is it even possible for the republicans to have a debate about the issues, and not go on personal attacks???
    That's a BIG negative! The only reason that we got stuck with Bush in the first place, is that the issues of the debates got lost because of those abominable "swiftboat attacks" on Kerry, and the voters went for rhetoric instead of facts.
    Let's hope the evangelicals and moral majority are a little more savvy this time around,and will see through "insane weather-vane" McCain's bullying and schoolboy remarks and vote for the best candidate this time around..., which surely means that there will be a democrat in the whitehouse next year

    February 20, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  128. Chris Long Grove

    Ummm...keep dreaming Jack. NO Way! Hillary is already flexing her negative muscles, I can only imagine what John McCain is cooking up. Actually all John McCain has to do is copy Hillary...we all know how that is working out for her (not so good!). What I love about Barack Obama is that he has been CONSTISTENT from the begining. And he has run a totally POSITIVE campaign. He could have pointed out many of Billary's skeleton's and misshaps from the past. Instead he stays above that. What an distiguished gentleman he is!

    February 20, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  129. wendie

    Because of obamas arrogance and superiority complex he is going to get slamed. he deserves it. and just a thought his long list of ideas is not his own...they are hilary and john's. he also has not indicated how he plans to make these ideas a reality. he and his followers need to come down to earth and get real. the last time i looked experience was a better quality than a huge ego. i am writing this from the west coast of florida. obama did not get the popular vote here and that tells me i live in a community of people who are not easity bamboozled by a slick sales pitch!

    February 20, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  130. Chris

    It's not rocket science, Jack! Since "Grandpa" is already starting on Obama and Karl Rove is in the shadows, what do you think?

    Thousand Oaks, Ca

    February 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  131. Seth Shotwell

    The negative campaign is the bastion of desperate and cornered candidates of questionable ethics. It worked for Rove and the Bush regime ... and we hopefully learned our lesson. I'm sticking with the candidate that can stand on his own two feet without destroying everyone around them.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  132. thomas pridemore west lafayette indiana

    Jack the chances are very slim. I said it before and i'll say it again people dont care how loud the fart is they just want it to smell a little better and this old fart really stinks.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  133. bnthdntht

    Divide and cconquer it has worked for almost twenty years so why should republicans stop now. The alternative is to run on a run up to
    an Iranian war. I think we been there done that.


    February 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  134. Jane, Lacey, WA


    Chances of avoiding a negative campaign is similar to the survival of a snowball in hades. When people feel threatened, they tend to lash out as both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have done. Both have tried to convince voters that Barack Obama has nothing more to offer than eloquent speeches full of rhetoric, but whenever he does reveal his plans for the future they magically become adopted by his opponents.


    February 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  135. Brent J. Cohen, NYC

    Sadly, a Presidential election without negative campaigning, is just un-American. John McCain is so concerned about his ability to unite conservatives and the Republican base, that he is going to go the extra mile to make sure that people know he's not "too liberal." As such, much like a child trying to prove he is "tough-enough" for the gang, McCain will try to prove he is "conservative-enough" for the Republican party. And how will he do this? Not by pointing to his own record (which is moderate), but by attacking the character and record of his Democratic opponent - get ready for some negative campaigning.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  136. Bill Herman

    Very little. Bill Petaluma, CA

    February 20, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  137. Jan

    Jack, just what do you call negative. By pointing out Obama's short comings, that's negatvie? McCain will eat him alive...Obama is an empty suit and the media has crowned him and are waiting to bring him down.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  138. Tyler in Toronto

    The reason why Barack Obama is going to win the nomination is because he does not make an art out of political mudslinging. John McCain sometimes gets sidetracked by what Obama is doing, and senator Clinton seems to be basing her campaign on how much she dislikes the Bush administration, which gets really irritating at times, especially to a Bush supporter like me. Its also the reason why I will most likely pull for Obama to win the presidency. He sticks to policy, hes inspirational, and doesn't waste his time complaining non-stop about Bush.

    February 20, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  139. Susan Cantor

    No, the fall campaign will be just as negative as past campaigns. If Obama is the democratic nominee, the 527's and the republican attack machine will have a field day. I'm afraid that Obama will not know what hit him. It has started already.

    Susan from Lexington Kentucky

    February 20, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  140. Cory in Southeast Missouri


    It's gonna get nasty; you can bet on it. And you know why it's gonna get nasty? Because voters buy into all the fuss.

    Until voters punish negative campaigning, it will remain as much a part of American politics as Clinton playing around between the Bushes.

    February 20, 2008 at 5:12 pm |