Don't Worry, Be Angry

Candidates won't go negative, but niceness has limits

There's something delightful when political candidates really despise each other. In 1992 Jerry Brown ranted about Hillary Clinton's work for a failed Arkansas S&L, and Bill Clinton screamed back during one debate that Brown "wasn't worth" standing on the stage "with my wife." Paul Tsongas dubbed Clinton a "pander bear." Clinton told him sarcastically in another debate, "You're always perfect, Paul." Tsongas replied, "I'm not perfect, but I'm honest."

Ah, such healthy anger. So cathartic. So liberating.

But this is the year of the passive-aggressive campaign, in which candidates mask their true feelings by saying how much they like their opponents....

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