I wonder if he’ll remember this column when the GOP turns its attention to Obama

Paul Begala‘s latest Newsweek column sings the praises of negative television election campaign ads.

Truth is, negative advertising is not some evil or nefarious practice. In fact, when I contributed to the Obama campaign in 2008, I wrote on the check: “For Negative Ads Only.” I love negative ads. When I see a positive ad, even one from a candidate I support, my reaction often ranges from bored to annoyed. But show me a negative ad—even one against a candidate I support—and my blood starts to race. What can I say? I’d much rather eat picante sauce than chocolate. …

… If we are negative by nature, we Americans are more human than most. The Founding Fathers loved going negative. Heck, the Declaration of Independence is one long negative ad. George Washington—although elected unanimously—was attacked for being too patrician and aloof, and for his support of the Jay Treaty with Britain. From there we were off to the races. Jefferson was scorched for fathering children with his slave Sally Hemings. Alexander Hamilton was called a womanizer. I’m sure the hand-wringers of our early days fretted. But the republic has endured nonetheless.

I guess this means we can count on Begala to hold his fire when the eventual Republican nominee starts emphasizing the truth about President Obama’s record during this fall’s campaign.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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