April 21st, 2008
02:18 PM ET

Are the Democrats’ negative attacks working?

 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:

The people of Pennsylvania probably can't wait until tomorrow's primary election is over. The campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has turned into a truly nasty affair, with the two trading accusations about who's been more negative in their campaigning.

Front page stories in both today's New York Times and Washington Post talk about how Obama has sharpened his tone and his attacks on Clinton, which is a departure from how he's treated her in previous primaries. Obama is questioning whether Clinton is honest and trustworthy and going after her as an expert in old-school, special-interest politics.

For her part, Clinton is calling Obama's approach "so negative" and says he's copying Republicans in his attacks on her universal health care plan. She's suggesting his message of hope has morphed into old-style politics. Both candidates unleashed TV ads yesterday in Pennsylvania, accusing the other of holding onto ties with special interests.

Meanwhile, Obama has been gaining support from establishment figures in the Democratic party after Clinton's repeated attacks on his "bitter" remarks. Former Senators Sam Nunn and David Boren backed Obama late last week. Also, Robert Reich – President Clinton's labor secretary and a longtime friend of the Clintons – is supporting Obama, saying he was "appalled" by her "mean-spirited" attacks.

An average of polls in Pennsylvania shows Obama trailing Clinton by 7 points heading into tomorrow, which is down from her double digit lead just weeks ago. Clinton is expected to win tomorrow, but the focus will be on the margin of victory. What's not clear is who, if anyone, is gaining from all this negativity.

Here’s my question to you: How effective are personal attacks by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on each other?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Judy from Kansas City, Missouri writes:
Due to her ongoing negative campaigning, Hillary is going to find out what the infamous word "bitter" really is when she loses the nomination. She did it to herself.

Linda writes:
They are only effective in making me not want to hear what either one has to say. It's getting really old and I wish they would each play a different tune.

T. writes:
Tomorrow will be the defining moment and let's wait ‘til then. I am so ready for this showdown to be said and done so we can get back into business of running down old man flip-flop McCain.

David from Las Colinas, Texas writes:
Jack, A presidential candidate uses Osama bin Laden in a last-day television ad...Well, can politics get worse than this?

Aaron from Champaign, Illinois writes:
The effect is that it simply makes us more and more glad that we only have to go through this crap every four years.

George from Palm Springs, California writes:
Jack, Attack ads not withstanding, Hillary Clinton is finished. She is behind in the popular vote, delegate count, and number of states won, and only leading in Pennsylvania by a few points. She can attack until the cows come home, but after tomorrow night, the only person she will have left to attack is Bill.

Iris from Saugatuck, Michigan writes:
Working? Are you kidding me? Negativity sells. As a World Wrestling Federation fan, I would love to see these two contestants get down and dirty in a pay-per-view no holds barred, cage death match. Phi Slamma Obama vs. Hill the Thrill. The proceeds go to the winner; the deceased agrees to drop out of the race.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • PA Primary
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Keith, Irving Texas

    If they're true, they can be very effective. Unfortunately, most voters don't know which attacks are true, other than Hillary's obvious mislies like her Bosnia thriller.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  2. Joe in DE

    The attacks prtty much cancel out. However Obama has turned up some serious negatives recently, and Hillary some minor ones – these hurt more than attacks by th opponent.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  3. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    To me they are not effective at all. We want to know specific details on what they say they are going to do and how they plan to pay for it. Of course in Hillary's current situation, she has everything to gain and nothing to lose as she can't even pay her bills. She has a lot of gall with her baggage to say anything negative about another person and we had hoped that Obama wouldn't fall for the trap.
    I feel sorry for the people that have to listen to this garbage on a daily basis as it makes people want to vote Republican.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  4. dorothy delong

    Jack I feel this makes things more interesting, and I knew the longer people hear Obama and all the mistakes he makes the more people will support Hillary. Seems every time his opens his mouth any more
    he sticks his foot in it. He still cant explain how close his relationship was to Rev. Wright. Dorothy Lucasville Ohio

    April 21, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  5. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Judging by her drop in the popularity poll, I would say that who she is hurting is herself. I wonder if she is making herself so unpopular that she could lose her senate seat in New York.

    If she becomes the Ralph Nader of 2008 and is seen to cost the Democrats the election, she might not be imaging the sniper fire.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  6. fcrooster

    For some in the crowd, the negative attacks–on both sides–are still effective; mostly, they hurt both candidates, but Hiliary the most and the Democratic Party. Most of the People have made up their minds, however, so the polls are dumb and dumber! To hell with the polls, expectations, and the Clintons! Step aside, John McCain and Hiliary Clinton!

    If we’re not yet the country we ought to be, and if we haven’t yet provided all Americans with the economic and social justice they’re entitled to, then it’s much too late for John McCain or Hiliary Clinton to expect the voters will back either of them this election cycle. For far too many election cycles, the candidates have pumped up the voters with the usual wedge issues, ad hominem attacks, platitudes, and promises. Then, once the election is over, you never ever see or hear from them. They don’t deliver on the promises and “do their own thing,” all at the voters’ expense.

    En masse, the voters are after new leadership and a fresh start. This is why they’ve come out of the woodwork to take back their government. Finally, they believe they have the candidate who will deliver on the promises of the past. The media and rightwing blow hearts don’t have a clue how bitter the People have become, or over what, and that’s part of this excitement. Step aside, John McCain and Hiliary Clinton. You had your chance and blew it! The People are passing you by with Barack Obama.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  7. Jayne, California

    Depends on what you mean by effective. Hillary knows she can't win. Her campaign is mired in debt, hasn't been paying it's bills and is behind in all counts of votes, states and delegates. Here's her plan: Bloody Obama so badly that he loses to McCain. Due to McCain's age, he is a one-termer. Hillary runs again in 2012 and already has her infrastructure all set up.
    What is sad is that she is being allowed to do this. She will say or do anything to win. Unless the Democratic Party grows some guts and stands up to her, the same old tired politics will win again.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    I don't think that they are. The shame is that they had to go negative and will only create bad feelings amongst the Democrats supporting their candidates. I guess Senator Clinton had to go negative in order to stay in the game and Senator Obama had no choice but to go negative in order to show that he wasn't knew how to take it to the hole. When this is all said and done and he meets Senator McCain we will all see how tough he is.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  9. Michael Powell

    Recently Bush told a reporter he had not heard that gas was approaching $4.00 a gallon. Well Jack, maybe it's time someone in the White House mention this to him.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  10. Ken Mattheis

    Yes. They are showing Hillary Clinton for what she really is, vicious, unprincipled and unethical. Her attack ads are reminding voters of the considerable dark side of the Clinton's. They will do and say absolutely anything to destroy anyone who has the audacity to oppose them or disagree with them. The Clinton's tactics are Karl Rove politics at its worst. I think voters have had a belly full of it this last eight years. Maybe that is why Hillary's negatives continues to go up.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  11. larry

    Dear Jack with the mud-slinging between Clinton and Obama let's not forget the loser has to speak at the convention in support of the winner what a speech that will be..... can't wait to here it.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  12. Rosalynd Florida

    Negative attacks work if they come only from one camp. Barack was smart to turn the tables back on Clinton this time in PA. In Ohio Clinton benefitted from being the attacker, now the ads will cancel out and voters will have to vote on the merits of each candidate's position and their gut feeling about the candidates.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  13. mitchell martin ark.

    personal attacks help noone,hurts everyone,is a waste of money,and a drain on the peoples voting rights.obama does not need these tactics to win,and i would encourage him not to stoop to their level.i would rather lose,honorably,than win by misleading the public.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  14. JoAnn in Iowa

    Working for what purpose?? Obama is forced to respond to Clinton's continual sniping. The net effects are Clinton lowering her poll numbers and a free ride for McCain. We will be better off when Hillary goes home so we can start the real campaign.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  15. Ron Mechanicsville VA

    Well, Jack, I guess it depends on if it's a good one! This is a TV/movie watching, wanting to be entertained society. This is the country of WWE, Jerry Springer, Cops, Worlds most Amazing Videos, and Desperate Housewives. A NASCAR watching nation that wouldn't know a real political issue if it saw one. But I bet they know the new Sprint Cup rules!

    This election has set new records on TV coverage, and the news media has sensationalized even the smallest detail over and over again and again. So without "24", or a new episode of, "Jerico", I guess a good negative attack would be prime time TV! Oh yeah, what happened to this War thing that was going on, was that cancelled!

    April 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  16. Nicki

    Political analysts say that negative ads work, but it's risky in Obama's purer "change" campaign. It could disillusion supporters.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  17. Wendy. San Rafael, CA

    I have the feeling that in general people are just tired of all the negativity.

    On Hillary's side, they are working to further increase her negatives. I believe she is close to 60% now. They are alos working to diminish Obama, but on a lesser scale

    Hillary is pushing it to the point where I would be surprised if she holds her Senate seat next time around. She has shown that she doesn't care about the Democratic Party but is only concerned about power, for her and Bill. Sad to see the demolition of their once good name.

    Wendy, San Rafael, CA

    April 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  18. Wayne, Goffstown NH

    Let her keep attacking. It's working great for Obama. He has closed a 20 plus point gap to a near tie. It shows people that she is part of the same old divisive politics that Obama is running against. The more she keeps attacking the worse people think of her. It's kinda sad to see the Clinton's who I once really respected and always backed bringdown their own reputations and the Democratic Party. If Obama is not on the ballot in November, then I think its time for a new Independent Party . I will be the first person to write in Obama if the Hillary Machine and the good "Ole" boys of the Democratic party steals this nomination from him.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  19. Charles in Florida

    Jack, the ads are effective on voters with their minds already made up. Hillary plays on voters fears and Obama wants you to take a chance on hope. I think JFK's and Bill Clinton's words together in an ad would make the choice easy. Ask not what your country can do for you...you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  20. Nicole Booker

    Jack, yes I do believe they are working for those who want to believe the hype. they work for those Americans who thought the ABC debate was beneficial and successful. They work for those who want the old way of politics and favors Hillary Clinton to Win. I'm not sure how many kitchen sinks she had left to throw, but may the last of them take her down the drain as well.

    Obama 08' Let's bring home a victory in PA Tomorrow Obamacans.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  21. AndyZ; Fairfax, VA

    I find it amazing how rabid the Democrats have become in supporting their candidate. If two candidates have virtually the same positions on most major issues then why the hate and vitriol? Why are democrats saying that if their choice is not nominated for president they will vote for four more years of Bush, I mean McCain? Is their candiadte, Clinton or Obama, more important than their party? In the words of a great American from Los Angeles, Mr. Rodney King: Can't we all just get along?

    April 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  22. J.D. in NH

    If the negative commercials are working in favor of anyone, it's John McCain. While the Democrats tear each other apart, Senator McCain and his entourage are traveling the world playing president. The good news is, no one is watching.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  23. Jonathan Moore

    After over a year of running I honestly think all that is left is negative attacks. Its unfortunate that it has come to this but, the two candidates are really similar to each other. Now its all about who is better at the "Game" then the other and that leads to personal attacks.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  24. Jim

    I do think negative attack ads work in the closing days to get at the still-undecided voters, who for some strange reason have not been swayed one way or the other by the flood of information they have already received. I feel Hillary went negative at the end of Ohio and Texas, for example, and she was rewarded unfortunately with the late-deciding voters and won those states. So Obama is forced by the slash and burn tactics of traditional politics to also be negative in the closing days of Pennsylvania to try to close the gap. If Obama only loses by 5-7 percentage points, this will be a HUGE victory for him since Pennsylvania voters do not embrace race diversity (that's the kindest way I can say this) and I have had numerous people say to me that they will not vote for him simply becuase he is not white (I also said that in much kinder words than they did). You likely will not read this one since the truth about race has been avoided by the press when talking about Pennsylvania voters.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  25. jeff

    Jack, I think the clinton kingdom don't know that the voters watched the debate too on abc.So attacking Obama that he can't handle hard question is not going to work for her cause we didn't see any hard questions, what we saw for the first 45 minutes were just bogus questions that were already solved.I wish they could ask her about monica lewinsky too and see how easy she could have answer explain it.The negative attacks will not help anyone.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  26. Raul from kentucky

    It may not be very helpful in the long run, but Obama didn't have a choice. You can help but answer some many attacks with some of your own.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  27. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    The negative attacks are mostly just entertainment for us political junkies. We like to see just how low these politicians will go to get elected. The problem is that neophytes,the general public,do not like all of this mud-slinging and it turns them off to the political process. The fun will really start when McCain and the republicans enter the fray,then the sh*t will really hit the fan.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  28. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    They are not effective, but rather damage their campaigns when they both implement this particular type of strategy. We all have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic. If they realized how powerful their thoughts are, they would never think a negative thought nor use them in their candidacy.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  29. hill supporter

    I think it hurts Obama...After all he suppose to be the message of change and now we see his true colors. I don't think it backs up his own message of hope. I think most are glad we see this side now.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  30. Bunny-Alvin, Tx

    I believe the personal attacks are more effective derailing the Democrats chance in the general election. It is unfortunate that Hillary Clinton started this cat fight. Obama did not have a choice. If he did not respond to her attacks with attacks of his own he would look weak, but by responding he sinks to her level. I guess her tactics have worked. If she can't win on the issues ATTACk, ATTACK, ATTACK! At least the super delegates are starting to move into Obama's camp. I hope that after PA there will be a move en mass by the super delegates for Obama and this never ending story will be OVER!

    April 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  31. Mike S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    Jack: I believe the Democrat's negative attacks on each other are working.... for McCain. As Clinton and Obama spar in the old political "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" method of campaigning, whichever candidate emerges as the nominee will be blind and toothless when they take on McCain.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  32. TN

    we will see, hopefully tomorrow PA will delcare OBAMA has the Dem nominee... b/c i'm getting tired of the drama and hillary!!!

    April 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  33. bernie

    jack if you and the rest of the news media would have done your job for the last year we would not have the problems we have now.you spend all your time trying to bring down the clinton's and showing how one sided cnn and msnbc really are.your job is to report the news not try to show how smart you think you are.if you and keith oberman and chris matthews are so smart why not run for office?you are now the same as fox new's and you have lost a lot of vewiers.your sponsors will wake up and make you find a real job. have a nice day.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  34. Doug Pierson Tohatchi, NM

    I really think the adds are working great...if your a republican and are voting for McCain. Another four years like the last 8...I don't know if I can stand it!

    April 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  35. Terry from North Carolina

    It makes no difference what each of them say, the voters in Pennsylvania and North Carolina have already made up their minds. Instead of trading barbs they should both focus on the issues.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  36. Sue of Minnesota

    I think Hillary attacks back fire on her. Obama hasn't really attack Clinton before. If he had I think it would have backfired on him early on, because it would be a black man beating up on a white woman. He would have really lost the white man vote. She 's attacked him enough now he can fight back without that coming up.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  37. James in Cape Coral, FL

    I believe they are more effective for Obama as he seems to just be defending himself against a tag team effort by McCain and Clinton. More often he points out problems with McCain and leaves Clinton out of it but Clinton never yields on her attacks against him. I'm not saying he's innocent but from my prospective he's catching more rebounds while Clinton is going straight for the three point shot every time. The more Clinton seemingly teams up with McCain the less likeable she may appear to the democratic base she's counting on to give her the nomination.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  38. Mark - Asheville, NC

    It's not the attacks so much as the candidates' reactions to them. Obama had better get used to attacks, because from Denver to Election Day he will be ground zero and we have already seen how vulnerable he is. As nominee he can't react as he did during the debate last Wednesday – the republicans will eat him up if he does.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  39. Andrea Bodo

    Hillary Clinton has been fighting and name calling for a long time. It is tiresome to listen to someone who constantly is attacking. Perhaps she has lost the ability to step out of that personna and change, focussing on issues people really care about. She is too absorbed with winning at all costs.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  40. Gregory

    Gonzales LA

    You know I didn't use to think that it mattered a whole lot, because I believed that people wasn't that gullible. After following this election and the things that have taken place I'm changing my mind. Canidates say they wont to stay with the issues but when the pressure gets on desperation sets in and they go to fighting tooth for tooth. Still it's no reason for the people to be influence by all of this and vote the way the negativity is flowing.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  41. Patrick

    crippling. not to either candidate, but the Democratic Party. If you only focused on t he issues then people would be able to vote on what really matters. But if people only focused on what really matters then Obama would have tied this one up long ago. All negative attacks do is separate Democrats and bring us closer to Republicans. Both candidates need to leave the negativity to negative people, which neither of them are.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  42. Bob in Pittsburgh PA

    Very effective in influencing my vote. Senator Clinton's attack-dog ads against Senator Obama have helped convince me to vote FOR Barack Obama!!! My wife feels the same way.

    So, while it has been an ugly display of old-style politics, Clinton's ads have served a useful purpose: disqualifying her from serious consideration.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  43. Jenny

    We all know Hillary has a pretty solid reputation for "misspeaking" and we all know the rest of her baggage. I do not need Obama to reemphasize it for me. We do not know alot about Obamas bagage but I think we will brfore this is over. I ant to know what they are planning to dobaout Iraq, gas prices, the housing crisis, medical care for all and education. I really am not interested in the baggage.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  44. Marilyn

    Most all the negative ads I've seen (on youtube.com, etc.) are from the Clinton camp and yes, they seem to be working very well. That's why they do them. Obama's ads are too high-minded to get much attention. We not only need a new kind of politician, we need a new kind of voter...one who won't be fooled by fear tactics.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  45. Nora. South Texas

    All the news stations kept saying he had to get tough and when he started fighting back now he is too negative. Hillary is use rolling around in the mud and then she has BOZO BILL come out and say they have been beating her up in the press for 15 months. Obama had to fight back or Fox News would have nothing to report about everynight.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  46. Jim, Cary NC

    At this point, negligible to anyone who has followed the election so far. Only the most uninformed people are making up their minds today. That's why late night Tv shows finally got the candidates to appear.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  47. Erin in Kalamazoo Michigan

    Yes, but at what cost, Jack? Though Hillary's attacks on Obama may help secure the primary tomorrow, Obama is still the more likely nominee.
    So, the bigger question is...
    How many Pa. voters will she have scared away from the democratic ticket come November?
    She may be right when she predicts that Obama won't carry Pennsylvania and she'll have only herself to blame.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  48. Billy G in Las Vegas

    from what I have seen so far, the attack adds have been VERY effective in driving up BOTH candidates NEGATIVE poll numbers. they may have damaged each other so badly that NEITHER can win in November.

    and then we will get four more years of Bush domestic and foreign policy with John "Same-OLD, Same-OLD" McCain.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  49. Anne/Seattle

    Negativity may work on a percentage of voters but overall I believe voters shy away from negativity. If you're listening to negativity, then the candidate isn't offering solutions and leadership. Hopefully most of us realize that the latter is what will help the nation turn around and start moving towards healing and growth. I suppose it's too much to hope for that we won't be deluged with negativity in the general election. If Barack wins the Democratic nomination, I hope he returns to the messages of hope and leadership that caused America to get excited about his campaign at the beginning.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  50. Linda

    Hillary's are real effective at getting her NOT elected. My Mom had this old saying "give her enough rope and she'll hang herself". Obama is smart, he is letting her be the cause of her own campaign demise.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  51. Mike in Pueblo, CO


    Negative ads have historically been effective, especially when they shine a light into a closet that exposes skeletons that would otherwise have remained hidden. I think this crop of ads have done a reasonably good job exposing the weaknesses of each candidate. Unfortunately, negative campaigns push us psychologically to pick the candidate whose weaknesses we feel we can best live with, rather than the strengths we most desire.

    – Mike

    April 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  52. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,unlike most of the liars out there,I'll tell I love the personal back and forth,it's the only time we actually hear the truth!

    April 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  53. Lori in Michigan

    It's too bad that politicians are forces to attack each other. I think Obama wanted to change the negative campaigning, but when questioned if he is strong enough to be president he forced to fight back.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  54. Ray Kinserlow

    It worked well enough for Hillary to cause me to cancel my contribution to her campaign.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  55. T.solomon

    Not for hillary she will say and do anything to win i dont believe anything she says i was going to vote for her but let's face it bill was not truthful, she has not been truthful, chelsea wil notl answer questions about the truth, and hillarys mother is quit about the truth I think the family should follow her lead if you cant tell the truth maybee you should be quiet???

    April 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  56. Tom Smith, Madison, Wisconsin

    Everything about our political system, including these stupid attacks, is a direct reflection of the voter. So, unless the voter matures and refuses to accept this nonsense and demands response to the issues that are really important it will continue.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  57. Angela

    I wouldn't call them attacks...it's called vetting. Better to vet in the primary than in the general. It is how they respond that is important and Obama can't handle the heat. When he is being attacked, it is that 'old Washington politics' said with disdain. What is it when he is attacking her?

    April 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  58. Harry

    The interesting thing is how equally negative each can be, but the harm seems to be to Clinton. I rack this up to Clinton using everything possible to derail Obama, yet Obama can merely scratch the surface of Clinton's baggage to stay even.

    Considering how negative Obama could take his campaign, yet not doing so, suggests he really is trying to be different.

    Despite how negative everyone thinks this primary campaign is, the fall campaign will be excruciatingly negative, thanks to the swiftboaters and the moveoners. Expect to hear a lot about Wrights and Songbirds. Obama and McCain won't be able to rein these groups in.


    April 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  59. Patricia -Lexington, Ky.

    I think that most people are just plain sick and tired of the whole campaign. I'v started hitting the mute button a lot more often these days. I blame the media for most of it – after a couple of days they really should drop it and move on. But NOOOOO – they have people on to further the uproar over Wright, Bosnia, Bitter, etc. There must not be enough for them to do.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  60. DaN H Panama

    I know the American people love the dirt, but it shows we have a couple of school kids running for office to participate in this. I think Obama tried the upper road but the media won t stand for that. Shame on the press and shame on Hillary for thinking she has the moral fiber to be president. Does the american people really want a president that tells stories even a 10 year old wouldn t believe.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  61. Mary from CT

    Senator Clinton is the Simon Cowell of the Democratic Party: she's just saying what we're all thinking, even though some don't want to admit it and "boo"and call "foul", it's still just the truth...unfortunately, in this talent show (the Democratic nomination), the Superdelagates get more say than the US voters...American Idol executive producers figuired out that wasn't fair in the early years of their show (their "Super Delagates" were the judges) and dropped it in the middle and later stages of the contest...if only the Democratic Party was that smart.....

    April 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  62. Iris in Saugatuck, Michigan

    Working? Are you kidding me? Negativity sells. As a World Wrestling Federation fan, I would love to see these two contestants get down and dirty in a pay-per-view no holds barred, cage deathmatch. Fi Slamma Obama vs. Hill the Thrill...the proceeds go to the winner, the deceased agrees to drop out of the race.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  63. g bierman

    Hi Jack
    the way she handles her campaign so goes the country if she were
    to be elected. I hope that others besides me can see how deep the mud around thier (her side kicks too) campaign is. how about her comment about invading other countries. sound familiar? do what i want attitude, just like Bush. she should be McCains vice president she thinks he so great!

    April 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  64. Peter Pan Fairview, Texas

    Those stupid attempts at attacking each other are a waste of time. They serve no usefull purpose what so ever. In a 2 hour debate we see 20 minutes of commercials 80 minutes of personal attacks against each other and 15 minutes against the republicans and 5 minutes of glad handing and introductions which are a complete waste of time because if we don't know who the hell is running for president by now we don't need to be voting in the first place. Now if you do the math that means that the candidates have talked less then one minute about issues that really effect the American people. I would much rather watch paint dry then a democratic debate.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  65. Stacy from Farifax, Virginia

    They need to stop with the attacks. Their bickering back and forth only helps McCain. I recently lost the interest and excitement I had for this campaign before it got really ugly.
    Can we PLEASE get back to discussing the issues and the future of America?

    April 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  66. A.C. M. Beverly, MA

    In the PA primary, Hillary’s attacks seem to have the opposite effect. From Obama’s side (with the relentless attacks and innuendos from the Clinton’s), his response reminds me of Popeye’s famous words “ That’s all I can stand ‘cause I can’t stands no more.” We’ll see if either works.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  67. Rob -BC,Canada

    I don't think they work.I think Hillary Clinton shows a real disdain for the voters with her approach.She has an heir about her that makes her sound like she is always speaking down to people.I think she believes that delivery over substance is all that matters .She shows contempt for the average wage earner and comes across as thinking anyone who doesn't support her is of no importance.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  68. Judy - Kansas City

    Due to her ongoing negative campaigning, Hillary is going to find out what the infamous word "bitter" really is when she loses the nomination. She did it to herself. Go Obama –

    April 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  69. michelle - jamaica

    The Democrats. Hillary knows she can't win, she is staying in the race only to bloody Obama . Her game is to make Obama unelectable so that he loses to to mcCain in november. McCain is 71, a one term president , then she will have her chance.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  70. DeniseGA

    I think all the negative attacks Hillary has tried, have backfired. Recently she has been mentioning Farrakhan, which Obama has not direct relationship with and today video surfaces of PA Gov Ed Rendell praising Farrakhan and the NOI. Talk about a hypocrit!

    I think it is only fair for Obama, to respond, as we have seen what happens, when a candidated does not respond.

    I think people are pretty tired of these primaries and really want the Clintons to fade into the background!

    She's broke and in debt, yet she refuses to step down!
    One can only assume, she's staying in to damage Obama!

    April 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  71. Jennifer, VA

    They're not working for me at all. And neither does the fact that people seem to think that a person who can't manage their campaign and the finances associated with it is ready to lead this conutry. If she can't handle a couple of million dollars, what on earth would make me think she could handle and turn around this country's failing economy? And can you imagine what it would be like in her White House? We'd no longer need Days of Our Lives, that's for sure.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  72. Dmurphy

    Hillary's negative attack ads are super effective: the more negative she gets the higher her negative ratings get! Thanks HIllary for making Barack's job that much easier.

    Obama '08

    NY, NY

    April 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  73. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    The effect is that it simply makes us more and more glad that we only have to go through this crap every four years.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  74. G.D. Moore

    Anchorage, AK

    Its both about winning AND governing. The attack ads show Hillary Clinton has the brier toughness to win and accomplish her agenda as President. Obama might be able to win, but he underestimates what will be required to get anything done afterwards. As we see right now, Obama is not a closer.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  75. Russ

    Jack. I suppose it depends upon who you want to win. With that being said, and as the saying goes, "It is always easier to BELIEVE than to THINK" All one has to do is THINK about what Hillary is trying to do. She's hoping that weaker minds (true believers), will fall prey to her vicious onslaught. I don't think it was Obama's intent to attack. But when one pushes, sometimes you have to push back.

    Russ, Jacksonville, Fl.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  76. Connie

    Jack, Why is it that when ever Senator Obama answers to Hillary or Bill's negative comments, he is perceived as negative?When she attacks him she is called gutsy. Although I believe she was very gutsy to think the primary was going to be handed to her on a silver platter. I still can not believe how voters can over look all the corruption and lies that have come out of their campaign.Would this be another Bush white house ? Also Obama needs to stay out of the kitchen thats were Hillary goes to cry. OBAMA 08 !!!

    Connie Logansport Indiana

    April 21, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  77. Shannon MT

    The big winners in a negative campaign are the Republicans and Hillary Clinton.

    The Republicans win because the longer these two beat each other up, the easier the race in the fall will be for the GOP.

    By waging a negative fight against Obama, she forces his hand to fight back to avoid looking like he can't handle a general election against the GOP. By fighting back, he goes against his stated desire to change the nature of how politicians conduct themselves. Kind of a catch-22 that Hillary has got him, we'll see if the American voter falls for it. If being a 'good' politician is the way to become president, than, unfortunately, she is a shoe-in.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  78. Linda G.

    They are only effective in making me not want to hear what either one has to say. It's getting really old and I wish they would each play a diiferent tune.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  79. Cedric

    They work all right. Just look how every time Hillary hurls more mud, people move in droves toward her opponent.

    Montreal, QC

    April 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  80. John in San Diego

    Hillary has led the negative charge in Pennsylvania only to watch her double-digit lead in the polls dwindle to "too-close-to-call," and her approval rating dropping to levels that only George Bush can match.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  81. Marie, sc

    I think they tend to solidify votes. All we will remember from Hillary's campaign is the negativity, Bill causing controversy, and the turmoil on her team. It's too bad she feels that this is a winning plan – It really would be scary if she adopted this same plan as president for our country.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  82. roberto

    The truth is no obstacle for Hillary Clinton. Her conduct speaks for itself. No further comments are necessary.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  83. Annie, Atlanta

    They effectively turn me off. I was hoping Obama would remain honorable. There's still hope.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  84. Will K. San Jose, CA

    The negative attacks are very effective. Unfortunately for the candidates, they are primarily effective at reducing the likeability of the person launching the attacks.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  85. lorraine

    Jack the campaign is only vicious because the press makes it that way including you! If Hilary say's something about Obama it goes on for days and everything Obama says is let go or parts of the whole
    picture aren"t shown including can anyone explain how he has 3x the money any other candidate has you really can't possibly beleive
    it"s all small donations smarten up people , do you really beleive all of us common middle class people have extra money when we can't feed our families, but we can send Obama all this money THINK REALLY HARD !!!!!!!!
    New Jersey

    April 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  86. J. Porter, Newport Beach

    Jack, we all know that Senator Obama is a kind, gentle man. But he
    has been backed in the corner by the most ferocious of beasts. He had
    to come out swinging, and defend himself. He could no longer afford
    to let Hillary be all over him like a cheap pantsuit.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  87. Eric Platt

    They are very effective.

    But only if you are a Republican.

    Before they are finished with each other, neither will be electable.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  88. Arina2

    Well Hillary just lost Michael Moore's support, because of her negativity. ..

    April 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  89. john, miami


    Since the average American voter has about as much idea of what is

    really happening as an eight year old, they will be very effective.

    God Help America!

    April 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  90. Norah (Boston, MA)

    Hillary's negative campaigning and Obama's decision to stay above it have changed my decision as to who I am going to vote. During this campaign I have seen a side of Hillary that I really wish that I hadn't and certainly do not wish to see in the White House. In fact, I am pretty upset that I no longer can stand Bill Clinton. On the other hand I have become more and more impressed by Obama's presence and grace under fire. I have listened to his ideas and policies and he is inspirational. i have not been this impressed since Bobby! I do not want to see Obama stoop to Hillary's level- I do not feel that he does engage in the same mean spirited attacks that she does. Attacking policy is different than making up lies or uttering innuendoes intended to misguide or inflame the voters.
    Also- as far as budget- who would we rather see run out economy- the person who has money left over in the budget or the person who is already in debt??

    April 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  91. MAGGIE, VA

    Negative attacks and Hillary go well together, so much so that I have renamed her as Hillay "ROTTEN" Clinton !!

    April 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  92. Sterling Greenwood

    Clinton will be the nominee no matter what happens in Pennsylvania or who says what about whom. From the getgo this presidential election was always going to be a choice between a third term for President Bush and a third term for Bill Clinton. The idea that we have a real choice among multiple candidates is illusory. Who occupies position of "most powerful person in the world" isn't going to be decided by the general public. And in the rare instance when an outsider does start to look like a winner, depend on "big media" to blare long and loud that this outsider is an elitist or something eually uncomplimentary until that candidate's image is diminished in the eyes of the public. Lincoln said, ". . . you can fool all of the people some of the time." well, this is one of those times.
    Sterling Greenwood
    Aspen Free Press
    Aspen, Co.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  93. Bill Oh Really

    Negative attacks work on Obama because there are many character questions about his association with Rev. Wright, Rezco and Ayers. He is also an elitist and associates bitter small town voters to religious faith and guns. The voters have questions about Obama.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  94. Roger

    I think it's starting to look kind of funny that they are both being negative to each other. If Obama would have kept on acting like an innocent victim, he might have have actually pulled it off. But now he shows that he is no better than the old polotics. It's also funny that someone could be appalled by Hillary's attacks and not be appalled by Obama's.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  95. don from ontario canada

    Jack I appreciate your question, the negativity from Clinton shows she is the old school and will never change, she just doesn't get it. Obama is as fed up with her as the rest of us and has to talk to her in the only message she understands, negativity!
    What I really would like to know, a question I'm sure that is burning on all the minds of the voters is "Why doesn't Hillary wear an American Flag lapel pin on her jacket".

    April 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  96. Taj

    In America anything & everything works (effective). American Motto "A sqeeky wheel gets the grease". Obama is more trust worthy than Hillary. Hillary is a double edged sword & that is the kind of president she will be. This is her track record. Already proven. If Barrack does not attack, he will lose. We saw that in Ohio. Americans like a good fight, action, innuendos. We are almost there, end of it.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  97. Tom Cieslinski

    Not effective and counterproductive.
    I will vote for Obama but was solidly for Clinton before April.
    What is negative is Hillary herself.
    I'll vote McCain before Hillary.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  98. Carron

    Jack, I believe lies should be told only if you are want to spare someones feelings by telling them the truth.If you are trying to make yourself look good It does not work . Sorry to say Hillary is only hurting herself .

    April 21, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  99. Louise Robinson

    Louise – Ontario – Canada
    Hi Jack – No matter how hard Barak tried he can never be as negative as Clinton. He just seems to respond to Clinton's negative jabber.....he still focus's on the issues and has a sense of humor, which God knows must be hard – hearing all the bull from Clinton..........Have a good one...........and don't get fired, I would really miss you –

    April 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  100. Mike from Syracuse NY

    I believe that the negative ads have been very educational. For example, we now know that if Hillary wins, the nations food supply will collapse, and we will all be forced into cannibilism. On the other hand, if Obama wins a massive asteroid will hit Earth destroying all life.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  101. Ana (MI)

    Depends on your definition of "negative". Whenever Obama points out the differences in policies between he and Clinton, he's said to be "going negative". Whenever Hillary opens her mouth, she's perceived as being negative. She continues to make up controversy, distort facts, and attacks Obama's character.

    If Obama really were to go negative, Clinton would have been long gone. She has enough dirt for him to resurrect that would cause all of her supporters to turn away from her, pledged and unpledged. But for the sake of the party, he's holding back.

    However, Clinton is destroying the party by doing to Obama what McCain will probably do. Seeing as how is is probably going to be the nominee, he's going into the November battle wounded and bleeding (thanks to Clinton). Such a shame. She started and continues all of the negativity, then tries to blame Obama for going negative when he simply speaks the truth. She's needs to lay off of the blue/gold trim bags (Crown Royal). Personally, I'm undecided again.

    McCain on Hardball last week may have swayed me back to my Republican roots. Just when I was about to cross the lines, those darn Democrats where standing right there with they're six-shooters, brown liquor, and snipers to send me back over, wondering what was I thinking to even consider voting for a Democrat in the first place!

    April 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  102. A Kraft

    no one except the ad agencies....Billary is so negative she has turned off her own followers...she has defeated herself

    April 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  103. Anthony-Minneapolis,MN

    The negative attacks if you wish to call some of them negative are working in Obama's favor. The polls show that whenever Hillary goes negative against Obama her no#'s drop considerably. So when she does a general ad like the Bin Laden ad, it hurts her even more because the polls also show she has no credibility with the American people.

    The same effect will happen when McCain goes negative against Obama in the general election. Fundamentally, both Clinton and McCain are extremely weak candidates. The Rev Wright and bitter comment issue are small in comparision to what John McCain has to answer for i.e. Pastor Hagee, flip flopping on taxes. not understanding the economy, etc.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  104. Julia, Kentucky

    I would guess that most everybody is tired of all the "he said, she said" mentality of this campaign...tired of the apologies for any stupid little thing, tired of the back-biting and insults..On the Democratic side it has turned into playground antics, problem is that running this country should take a little more effort and a lot more believability..

    April 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  105. JS

    When the campaign started Obama said he would not go negative, it became open day to attack him, so he was forced to respond, then they boo hoo about the fact that he had said he would not attack. Of course if he did not attack they would portray him as weak, so for him, he had to face the fact that you fight. In answer to your question, yes they are working – to make me a Hillary hater.
    JS North Carolina

    April 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  106. Alan, Buxton, Maine

    People who enjoy dog fights might get something from candidates tearing into each other but anyone who is genuinely concerned with the issues should be dismayed at such infantile behavior. We are supposed to be trying to elect the best person not deciding who is the least offensive. The political environment has deteriorated to the lowest level again.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  107. IJ

    Jack... If negative attacks didn't work why are they always used in campaigns? Negative attacks work in the short run if the other candidate can't clear them up quickly enough. That's what happened to Obama in Ohio and Texas, and I can suspect something of that sort in Pennsylvania.

    Lexington, Kentucky

    April 21, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  108. Kathy


    Obama has always been just as negative as the next guy. You just chose not to notice.

    The winner in all of this? The State of Pa. A ton of money has been spent in that state that they never would have seen if this race was over on Super Tuesday.

    Dayton, Ohio

    April 21, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  109. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Hillary now has an ad up playing the fear card by using bin Laden-just like the Republicans do. For her to accuse Obama of going negative is ridiculous. BILL Clinton equated this election to a football game, saying Obama should "stop whining" and "toughen up." Now that he's fighting back, they're accusing him of playing dirty. The Clintons are hurting the Democratic party all for a chance to get back in the White House.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  110. Gene

    Gene in Appleton, WI. As far as the personal attacks by Clinton and Obama they have no affect on my voting decision at all. Usually a significant factor is how they've voted on a variety of issues in the past. In making up my mind I try to look at the whole person, how they have conducted them selves over time and what issues they are most interested in so I can tell if I have the same interest areas. After considering all of the information I then make up my mind as to how I will vote. In essence, personal attack ada basically have no impact on my decision making process. If anything they generally make me think about why I should not vote for the candidate that is running them. For example, the swift boat ads helped me decide not to vote for Bush

    April 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  111. sarah, indiana

    when obama found out his past, lack of character, and abscence of good judgement he quickly went about as negative as it gets. anyone who questions his qualifications is labelled a racist. sen clinton is not always honest but sen obama is even worse. if obama becomes the nominee, the republicans will put all of his lies and secrets right out in the open. then we will realize that sen clinton tried to warn us about this snake oil salesman and she was the best choice after all.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  112. Carrie, Southern Wisconsin

    Not all that effective, but what choice does Sen. Obama have but to defend himself against all the demeaning, nit-picking stuff Hillary has been putting out there. If he takes the high road, she'll just say that he's not "tough enough" to campaign against McBush. I She thinks that nastiness equals toughness, equals strength.

    And McBush says Sen. Obama's not tough either. (How would he know???) So what does Sen. Obama have to lose by fighting back? Personally ,I think he's certainly tough enough, and a lot calmer under stress than either Hillary (who is moody) or McBush (who still has rage issues). I mean that seriously, not just to be negative.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm |

    negative attack ads. who needs them? both candidates are better at shooting themselves in the foot than their opposition. hillary and barack need to learn to play nice or daddy mccain will punish them in november.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  114. Karen - Branson MO

    We need someone with intelligence in the White House. So far, the only candidate with that is Obama. It doesn't matter what the attack ads are...Obama is the only person with integrity, intelligence, good judgement, electability, a fresh way for Washington to follow.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  115. Ronald Holst

    Are they working Well If you are for McCane for President Then Yes in the long term in the short Term Clinton Has learnead all to well I am beginng to wounder If she took Lesson from Rove . She Is hurting her opponent ,to bad she dose not use her witts agents the Republicans She May not win the nomanation doing that But She shure wont give it To MCBUSH either

    April 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  116. Paul in Toronto

    Hillary is an old-fashioned politician who uses an old-fashioned attack strategy. Obama should just ignore her. As hunters used to say in the old days: "It is by the barking of the dogs that you know you are sitting in the saddle."

    April 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  117. david

    Can Hilary have it both way? first she say her and mccain have pass the commander and chief test put obama have a speech. But when obama add mccain in saying that any of the 3 would be a better president than bush she goes nutz. so what's her beef?

    April 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  118. Crown Royal

    Time to admit Obama is a fraud Jack.

    His whole message of a different kind of politics is a lie and you know it. Its old school, rove and atwater politics as usual.

    BTW, you should never eat Chinese food again.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  119. John in Floida

    They certainly aren't helping themselves by these negative attacks. I am surprised that Hillary was able to finally get Barrack to start negative ads by needling him about not being strong. His first big mistake I think to give in and fight back with old fashioned politics.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  120. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    I think it is disgusting that both candidates have resorted to negative ads. But it really amazes me that Clinton would have the cajones to complain about it! Obama tried for a long time to just ignore her negativeness, but evidently finally felt he had to respond in kind. It wasn't surprising that she resorted to innuendo and negative campaigning, as that is the Clinton trademark. And this is the "lady" that says she will be able to work across the aisle!?

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  121. Courtney, South Windsor, CT

    I have to be honest, I've always tuned out the negative ads. It's second nature. I don't feel I'm alone in this. We deal with enough negativity day-to-day, from our morning commute, to water-cooler controversy, and over the dinner table. I think many are tired of the whole attack ad deal and treat the ads as they should be – like the plebian tripe they are. The negative ads make the accuser look all the worse, which is to say, neither of these candidates seems to be coming out on top. If we tried harder to focus on the issues at hand and how we feel each candidate would actually perform in the Oval Office, we'd all be better off.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  122. Joan

    Senator Obama had to respond to Clintons negative ads, and since her negative ratings are very high, he has nothing to loose. She has been throwing the kitchen sink at him far too long.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  123. Susan Shevlin

    The personal attack adds are only going to ensure that we won't vote for the other candidate. I wouldn't vote for Hillary if she were the only woman ever to run for the Presidency.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  124. Andrew Breslin

    Although they may not be necessarily "good politics," these attacks will excite most people. It's the push some people need to get to the polls.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  125. wally rehmann in las Vegas

    to me there sickening, there reminding me of school yard bullies, I'll still vote Dem in November ,next election one day primaries in each state same time look at all the wasted money this as cost. Hillary has lost any respect i ever had for her , i hope she looses her new york job as a result.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  126. Tiffeany

    I am deeply disturbed at the tactics from the Clinton camp. I was torn as to who I should vote for but Clinton's approach opened my eyes to her being the same as all of the other candidates. And although Obama's camp has recently gone negetive, its obviously out of appearance to not seem guilty or weak. It needs to stop if we want to win.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  127. Mine' Hakim, Blaine, Washington

    good afternoon, Jack:
    Love your blog.
    I think negative campaign at this point ahs a different purpose for Obama: he has to show that he can sharpen his stick if he has to. People that are voting for him tomorrow won't be swayed, however, the undecideds and the blue collars may like to see that he has a little more backbone.

    Otherwise, he looks like he is letting a woman beat him to a pulp.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  128. Martha K-Florida

    This petty negative campaigning being driven by the Clinton camp is not helping either candidate, the Party, or the country, Jack. Hillary needs to accept facts and graciously concede while she still has any semblance of respect from voters and the Party.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  129. Jerry from La Crosse Wisconsin

    It's funny how all the Hillary supporters think the negativity is "just fine" and part of "being tough" While Neutral parties and Obama supporters don't like it at all.
    Shows that Her supporters recognize that she is hitting below the belt, like tossing out Farrakan at any moment, and Like Hillary herself, if it wins her the job it's fair to them.

    How long ago was it that Hillary was whinning about getting the first question and unfair criticism. She didn't like the kitchen so much then.

    Better to give than receive heh?

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  130. Kyle Green

    St. Louis MO
    I don't feel the negative attacks are helping anyone but the Republicans, perhaps giving them some ammo they didn't know they had before. Yet in Obama's defense, Clinton has been negative for awhile now, and you can only poke and prod someone for so long until they finally get sick of it and attack back.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  131. Mike

    Obama should just recognize that the Clintons' game is not his game.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  132. Maria

    The only thing that the negative attacks by Clinton confirms is that she will stoop to any level for her own gain, & not for what's right for our country. She reminds me of one of those mean spritited spoiled middle school aged kids, who whine until they get what they want.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  133. James

    People blame the negative ads on negativity of the candidates. Personally, I blame it on the fact that the candidates have to spend over a year politicing. How much can you POSSIBLY talk about before you either start repeating yourself or stop talking about altogether. Negativity is all they have left...

    April 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  134. Mark Lodes

    Watch Obama dare to address Hillary in a positive light in front of a crowd of 60,000 people in Pennsylvania. The man hasn't even mentioned Bosnia once. He's not even close to going negative. Her negative attacks are not working, rather they are bringing to light how very different his politics are, & as a result, how right for this country he is.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  135. Marlene Emond

    The meaner Hillary Clinton becomes, the less likely we will vote for her if she wins. We want the Democrats to win but we really want Barack Obama. What is this a dynasty? What do other countries think of the United States? Bush, Clinton, Bush. Please no more! Let us try something new for the sake of our country. Hillary keeps getting meaner and meaner. I wonder how I ever liked the Clintons. I now almost hate them. They are trying to ruin Obama. I am a 72 year old white woman. Go figure!

    April 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  136. Ron Holbrook

    I'm sick and tired of Hillary's negative attacks and don't think it serves Obama to play that game either. If John McCain wasn't so pro- Iraq war, he would get my support, but he, like so many other Americans forget who was the main cause of 9/11.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  137. Erik

    Ohio and Texas were Obama's introduction to national politics. Clinton was simply playing what has unfortunately become the US political game. The "Kitchen Sink" method is effective because sound bites are easy to play and replay on news organizations. As an Obama supporter, I am both relieved and dismayed that he has stepped into the "dirty politics" arena. These are skills he will need in the general election against the republican machine, but I feel he is losing part of the message that has cause so many people to flock to him.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  138. kathy in ohio

    Obama has always been just as negative as the next guy. The media just choose to spin it another way. He is supposed to be the candidate of " CHANGE" ( whatever that is suppose to mean) i guess you could say this should be negative on him since he is going back on his word. With all his whining lately about things not being fair maybe he should take his ball and go home.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  139. Chris H. Lancaster, PA

    though i'm still firmly for Obama, i must say i was disappointed to see his campaign resort to negative adds just like Clinton. i still agree with his message of change, and holding officials in washington to tougher more ethical standards, but you have to question it, at least a little a bit, when he starts resorting to, as he puts it, "the same old politics..."

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  140. Linda Richards

    The more informed a voter is, the less effective the negative ads are. There is a fine line between speaking a truth (like Hillary lied about Bosnia which raises questions about her judgment) and going negative (like saying Hillary lied about Bosnia which raises questions about her judgment). One can argue truth vs. negativity about the statement. I think the reason that so many voters are undecided is that they know so little about the candidates that they are easily swayed by a single statement. The media doesn't help by making issues out of haircuts, cleavage and bitterness and not allowing the candidates to discuss the issues. Old Lady in NJ.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  141. RC Lendz Philadelphia, PA

    I think the negative ads from Barack Obama show his true character. For all of you that voted or were planning to vote for Obama, you are now seeing your "HOPE"s for a change in Washington dashed by these negative attacks. I saw this last summer when he was talking negatively about all of the candidates who voted for the Iraq War. I hope you are not feeling "buyer's" remorse now. I think this clears the path for Clinton to win.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  142. Mack S.

    Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

    Barak made a mistake in Ohio and Texas by not attacking Hillary during the 9th hour as she did him.

    He has learn from this and she wont be able to cruise in this time.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  143. Jim Puder

    Dear Jack,

    Arguing with Hillary is like wrestling with a pig in the mud. After awhile, you recognize that the pig likes it!

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  144. Steve,Penna

    Hillary is showing her "B" personality. And Obama is showing he does have "Bees",let them buzz on to the Democratic convention and John McCain becomes the "Bee Keeper.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  145. Deb from Lancaster, PA

    I find it interesting that Hillary Clinton dove headlong into the negative campaigning black hole the moment Obama won Iowa, and that was just fine. She has twisted, lied and deceived her way back, and that is acceptable.

    Now that Obama has grown tired of the barrage and has pointed out some disparities between what she has said and a little thing called "reality," suddenly he is going negative.

    I wouldn't vote for Acid-tongue Clinton if she were the last candidate on Earth. She gives all of us post-menopausal white women a bad name. If by some great injustice she cunningly uses her mean-spirited tactics to ruin this election, I will vote for Barack Obama in November as a write-in..

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  146. Carmelo, NJ

    Jack: I think negative attacks does not make a presidential candidate more electible instead it's a turn off. At the ABC debacle Hillary did not miss an opportunity to twist the knife at Obama for issues that most voters think was petty and erevalent. it shows that Hillary is very desperate and will use every means to achive her goals, this is not the person I would want as President

    Regardless, who ever wins the democratic primary I will not vote for McBush

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  147. W. A. BLUE

    Hillary complaining that Obama is going negative is "LIKE THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK." This is incredible! 'The neg's don't help anyone but closeminded people that already chose one or the other. IIf you like a candidate these adds are even hard to take. The neg's do have a negative effect on the independants and undecided.

    Footnote: Why don't they say a white candidate transends race! Go figure.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  148. denise lee

    I'm getting sick of both of them. I'm an Obama supporter but I'm tired of the whole thing. It's gotten too negtive and it takes away fromthe whole process. The proboem with all the negative attacks is that all it does is make John McCain more ammunition than he would have otherwise.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  149. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Jack, I don't think that at this point it matters. The haters of Hillary will hate regardless, and Obama lovers will love regardless.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  150. Emmanuel

    Jack, Negativity has always been the hallmark of the Clintons and unfortunately history has proved that they have always been successful in this. I just hope that people in Pennslyvania and other states will see the dishonesty in the Clintons and vote their conscience.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  151. Adirondack Ed, Northville, NY

    Jack: You know all that hogwash about being a "good listener?" Well it doesn't matter a pile of pig poop (just to keep the metaphor going) because neither of them do-especially to each other. So they could call each anything and neither would hear it. But I have and have learned to dispise them both. Spoiled little children using playground antics to become President of the greatest nation on the planet. Baloney!

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  152. Bruno Augustin

    Hillary Clinton is destroying the Democratique Party not Obama…… Obama is very strong in Illinois and Clinton is weak in NY….. She can’t win the white house and might loose the NY senate seat as well….
    Bruno Augustin/ Atlanta GA

    April 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  153. Marjorie Wright

    Dear Jack:
    One of the attacks against Sen. Obama -that he does not wear a flag pin in his lapel therefore suggesting he is not patriotic. Hasn't anyone noticed that neither Sen. Clinton nor Sen. McCain wear one either.

    April 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  154. Kathy in Florida

    These ads are vicious and yes stupid...............I would not vote for Hillary if she was running for Queen of an ant colony.

    John McCain in 2008!!!

    April 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  155. Service Member in the Armed Forces


    As a member of the Armed Forces, I believe this race has energized what once was a boring process in America. As I continue to serve our country in this war against those who wish to harm the United States. I am appalled that Mrs. Clinton is continuing the current administration’s divisive tactics and tearing the Democratic Party apart; she has sided with republicans against a member of her own party and continues to fabricate the truth on her accomplishments. She does not need Mr. Obama to make her look bad, she doing an awesome job on her own! Win at all cost is her Motto

    April 21, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  156. Jose A

    Vote American, Buy American..,Hillary is the only one....

    April 21, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  157. Euphemia, Ireland

    Superbly.............................the Republicans don't even need Rove. Its really, really sad.

    April 21, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  158. John from NJ

    They are working bigtime for McCain

    April 21, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  159. Eric in Illinois

    Obviously they work...we have had many a President elected becasue of them. That is part of the point ..in today's climate we need someone who is tough enough to withstand them and smart enough to use them when necessary. Any other approach is just rose colored glasses stupid.

    April 21, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  160. Buush Mohamed

    Why Question who will carry the day, Jack? time will tell, it's 1:00am in the morning, i will be glued to CNN and will have little sleep tonight just to see how Barack Performs. Go ON BARACK!

    Buush Mohamed,
    Wajir, KENYA.

    April 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  161. lynn holt

    i think that if hillary clinton is elected president it will be a double headed one bill and hillary show thanks lynn

    April 21, 2008 at 6:26 pm |