The Atlantic

All the Presidents' Dirty Tricks

Politicians have done some grim things in pursuit of the presidency, but there have also been times when people did the opposite: behaving morally when it was easier not to.
Source: Nick Didlick / Reuters

The president tweeted Monday: "Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don Jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!" This was a shortened version of the answer the president gave during his press conference with the French President last week. "Politics," he said, "is not the nicest business."

He's right. Politicians have done some grim things in pursuit of the office. President Franklin Roosevelt was a philanderer, nevertheless, he pushed aides to use his opponent Wendell Wilkie's affairs to hurt him. He even tutored aides on how to spread rumors without getting caught. "We can't have any of our principal speakers refer to it, but people down.

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