Jennifer Wilson

Jennifer Wilson is a Prospect Summer 2011 intern.

Recent Articles

Stuck in the Mud

Dirty campaigns are as American as apple pie.

After constant gridlock since Barack Obama's election, it seems that our current political climate is more hostile than ever. Insults and challenges will only increase as the 2012 campaign battle grows fiercer. Today's attacks certainly seem to be unprecedented in terms of twisted creativity, frequency, and downright maliciousness, but it turns out that the phenomenon isn't all that new. In her new book, Slinging Mud: Rude Nicknames, Scurrilous Slogans and Insulting Slang from Two Centuries of American Politics , Rosemarie Ostler provides a history of political smears from the beginning of the 19th century through the 2008 election. The American Prospect talked with Ostler about how the mudslinging tradition is as American as apple pie. What's the best instance of mudslinging? My own favorite would be the 1928 presidential campaign between Herbert Hoover and Al Smith. Al Smith was attacked from so many perspectives -- some that I think would be beyond the pale these days. He was a...