Dirty Tricks

Discussion in 'Politics & Government' started by Ken Anderson, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Jan 21, 2015
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    Dirty tricks have always played a part in American politics. They can be very mean yet effective and humorous.

    Dick Tuck was a long-time political consultant for Democrats. He has worked on the campaigns of Adlai Stevenson, John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and others. In 1950, Richard Nixon was running for the Senate in California. Tuck, who was employed by Nixon's opponent, Helen Douglas, managed to get himself hired as a campaign worker for Nixon.

    Put in charge of organizing campaign rallies, he booked a very large auditorium at UC Santa Barbara, one that had a capacity of four thousand, then did nothing to promote the event. Fewer than fifty people attended, most of them from the press, and Nixon was humiliated.

    On his own part, Nixon circulated a flyer that became known as a "pink sheet," that compared Douglas' voting record with that of a New York congressman who was believed to be a communist, and suggested that her political views must be identical. Nixon won by almost twenty percentage points, and that was the campaign in which he first began to be called Tricky Dick.

    In 1956, when Nixon was running for reelection as Eisenhower's Vice President, Dick Tuck hired garbage trucks to drive by the convention center with signs that read, "Dump Nixon."

    After the first Kennedy-Nixon debate in 1960, Tuck hired an elderly woman to wear a large Nixon button, then approach Nixon as he left the debate stand. Assuming she was a supporter, Nixon went up to her. While the television cameras were rolling, she said, "Don't worry, son. He beat you this time, but you'll get him next time."

    In 1960, Nixon was doing a whistle stop tour of California. While giving a speech from the caboose, Tuck disguised himself as a railroad employee and waved the train off while Nixon was still speaking.

    In 1968, Tuck hired several pregnant African-American women to wear Nixon tee-shirts and circulate through the Nixon rally. The slogan on the tee-shirts read, "Nixon's the One!"

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