Bill Clinton, 1996

One of the most straightforward and forceful embodiments of the uses of ‘opposition research’, this is from the campaign of Democrat Bill Clinton in 1996, attacking his Republican opponent Bob Dole. The opposition research here consists of finding earlier televised news-clips of Dole taking positions contrary to those he took in the presidential campaign, more extreme positions which effectively argued that Dole was not the moderate and avuncular figure his campaign was presenting.

The piece was aired toward the end of the election period, when the Dole campaign was trying all available means to destabilize a sizable Clinton lead, and the Clinton campaign was just trying to protect that lead by containing this late Dole assault.

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