Attack campaigns used to work, honest | Bleader

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Attack campaigns used to work, honest

Posted By on 10.21.08 at 03:35 PM

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

If you want a better sense of where the McChaos campaign's frantic pinata politics strategy originates, the compelling-looking documentary Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story is screening three times this week as part of the Chicago International Film Festival. The difference between Atwater and Rick Davis, of course, is that Atwater 1) played on real fears (violence, antisemitism), not things that weird pundit robots pretend to be afraid of out of boredom (old pastors) 2) was a charismatic, bloodthirsty professional political operative and not an awkward lizard-faced lobbyist whose demeanor can best be described as "overwhelmed." Given some of the other fine, aesthetically ambitious offerings, it might make sense to save a Frontline-esque documentary for your living room, but it looks really good, and Atwater is one of the most important figures in modern political rhetoric and a fascinating man generally. See trailer below, as well as a bit from Bill Moyers on Atwater's late-life epiphany.


Tags: , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Whet Moser

  • —30—

    A farewell, and some favorite pieces from the Reader.
    • Jan 14, 2011
  • The Very Political Life of Bill Daley

    Bill Daley: lifetime centrist
    • Jan 14, 2011
  • The Hidden Hands

    The Hidden Hands

    In every successful campaign—and every dud—pros are masterminding and organizing from offstage. Meet the people behind six mayoral candidates.
    • Jan 13, 2011
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Bernhardt/Hamlet Goodman Theatre
September 14
Performing Arts
The Great Leap Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Upstairs Theatre
September 05

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories