So It’s Come to This?

Forget two-year presidential campaigns that raise hundreds of millions in donations. It’s back to basics time and it’s time to know your candidates.

In an apparent attempt to avoid being Swift-Boated, Barack Obama has launched

You might have received some e-mails from an errant second cousin or a “friend of a friend” about how we “know” Clinton and McCain, but question how much we really know about Obama. While most (at least we hope most) discerning voters know spin and outright lies when they hear them, it’s easy to wonder how much this stuff hurts candidates. We know it took a toll on John Kerry in 2004. We know it hurt Vietnam veteran and triple amputee Sen. Max Cleland when, during his 2002 run for reelection to the U.S. Senate, his commitment to homeland security was put into question when voters viewed ads that placed him along side Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

So talk about a preemptive strike. In 2008, any candidate is vulnerable to a smear campaign from either the left of the right. The Obama campaign has put forth a fact sheet, hoping to dispel the lies on the Internet and talk radio. Take a look at it, pass it on, and vote on the important issues like the war, the economy, home foreclosures, foreign and domestic policy, free trade, etc. Let’s look at the facts and vote based on those.

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


  1. Afraid we ain’t seen nothing yet when it comes to Obama smears. Did you see that the reprehensible Michelle Malkin called Michelle Obama the candidate’s “baby mama” on Faux News?

    The swift-boating of those two decorated veterans—Kerry and Cleeland— on behalf of the smug nonserving Bush and Cheney clued us in that nothing is beyond the pale.

    Practice your deeep-breathing and meditation techniques, kids, it’s gonna be an ugly five months.

    But good on Team Obama for not sitting still on this stuff.


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