The meme-of-the-day now that the 2012 presidential tickets are complete and the candidates are exchanging barbs and attack ads is that this campaign is already the worst ever.
C'mon. Commentators make that claim around every campaign.
From a 2007 Crossroads piece on the subject then:
It seems at the end of each election, there are editorial writers and talking heads and candidates - usually the losers - saying that was the dirtiest campaign ever.
A quick Google search shows the term "dirtiest" flung around pretty commonly in post-election analyses, ranging from the post-mortems after the 1996 race for Waukesha County sheriff, to the 2006 U.S. presidential campaign, in which Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) got "Swift-boated."
But didn't we also hear the same charge - dirtiest! - after the infamous and racist Willie Horton ad that was run against Democrat Michael Dukakis and helped sink his 1988 campaign against George H.W. Bush?
And what about President Johnson's inflammatory mushroom-cloud commercial that he ran against GOP candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964? Didn't people then say that was the dirtiest ad ever?