A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 29, 2011
Politics of Personal Destruction

During Bill Clinton’s successful campaign for the U.S. presidency in 1992, questions about his character began to emerge. Reports of extra-marital affairs with Gennifer Flowers and of dodging the military draft hurt Clinton in the polls. In March 1992, he labeled the charges as the “politics of personal destruction.”

The term “politics of personal destruction” is still infrequently used, usually with a note of Bill Clinton’s authorship.


Wikipedia: Bill Clinton
William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Before that, he was Governor of the state of Arkansas. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation.
(...)
1992 presidential campaign
Due to his youthful appearance, he was often called the “Boy Governor”. In the first contest, the Iowa caucus, he finished a distant third to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. During the campaign for the New Hampshire primary, reports of an extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers surfaced.

Wikipedia: Bill Clinton presidential campaign, 1992
Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign for President of the United States was a critical turning point for the Democratic Party,
(...)
In the recent past, the Iowa caucus had been the launching pad for candidacies. But since Harkin was himself an Iowa Senator, attention turned to New Hampshire. In January 1992, Clinton led Tsongas by a solid 16 points with nobody else even close. But Clinton was undone by two damaging stories that cut against his credibility. The first was the revelation of his affair by Gennifer Flowers, a former night club singer and television reporter from Little Rock, Arkansas. Clinton blunted this story with an interview on 60 Minutes at the conclusion of Super Bowl XXVI, where he flatly denied (which was subsequently revealed to be untrue when Clinton testified during the Paula Jones law suit) having had this affair. The story that caused Clinton greater damage, however, was the notion that he had ‘dodged the draft’ in order to avoid military service in the Vietnam War. The draft story put Clinton in what pollster Stan Greenberg called ‘meltdown.’ Clinton lost nearly twenty points in less than a week.

13 March 1992, St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch, “Clinton Using Foes’ Attacks to Solidify Role” by Bill Lambrecht, pg. 1A:
“They’re tired of the politics of personal destruction.’’
(Bill Clinton, speaking about the questions about his character—ed.)

26 March 1992, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News, “Clinton: Put People 1st,” pg. 25:
Front-running Democrat Bill Clinton called for ending “the politics of personal destruction” and starting to solve the people’s problems when his campaign landed in Pennsylvania yesterday.

New York (NY) Times
THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Behind the Scenes; Republican Sleuths on Clinton’s Trail
By RICHARD L. BERKE
Published: May 07, 1992
(...)
Those who find themselves under the Republican microscope argue that their opponents know no bounds when it comes to scandal. Mr. Clinton has accused the “Republican attack machine” of leaking tales about his personal life and complains further about “the politics of personal destruction.”

Time magazine
An Interview With BILL CLINTON
By HENRY MULLER and JOHN F. STACKS LITTLE ROCK Bill Clinton Monday, July 20, 1992
(...)
Q. Given the mood of the country, the state of the economy and the President’s lack of popularity, why are you not going into this convention with a 20-point lead?
A. First of all, a lot of this is not accidental. We live in a time when the politics of personal destruction have been proved very effective. This President got there not with a vision but by first taking out his primary opponents and then taking out his general-election opponent. We also live in a time when people think pretty poorly about anybody who is in public life. So you carry that baggage with you, and winning the primary process has often been almost as much a negative as a positive.

OCLC WorldCat record
THE POLITICAL SCENE The Town That Ate Itself Washington’s politics of personal destruction.
Author:  Joe Klein
Publisher: New York : F-R Pub. Corp., 1925-
Edition/Format:  Article : English
Publication:  The New Yorker. (November 23, 1998): 78
Database: ArticleFirst

OCLC WorldCat record
The politics of personal destruction : character attacks and the American political campaign
Author:  Stephen C Roberds
Publisher: Cedar City, Utah : Southern Utah University, 2004.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Hillary : the politics of personal destruction : the multimedia expose, includes full-length DVD documentary
Author:  David N Bossie
Publisher: Nashville : Thomas Nelson, ©2008.
Edition/Format:  Book : CD for computer : Biography Visual material : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary: Recorded DVD. The videorecording, prepared by Citizens United, contains over 40 interviews of various people detailing Hillary Clinton’s various scandals.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, July 29, 2011 • Permalink