Hillary Clinton's "3 a.m phone" ad reportedly won her some votes in Texas, but it was also cited as one of the ways she went negative during the primary campaign, exploiting fears of an inexperienced leader in the White House. But Harvard's Orlando Patterson, writing in Tuesday's New York Times, has even harsher words about the ad than that. He says:
"Repeated watching of the ad on YouTube increased my unease. I realized that I had only too often in my study of America’s racial history seen images much like these, and the sentiments to which they allude. . . . The danger implicit in the phone ad — as I see it — is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat."He goes on to compare the ad to other divisive campaign spots in recent history, such as the Willie Horton ad from George H. W. Bush's run against Michael Dukakis. He could have also mentioned the classic North Carolina contribution, Jesse Helms' "Hands" ad used against Harvey Gantt.
What do you think? Is Professor Patterson on to something? Or has he called a wrong number? Click the "Comments" link below to continue the conversation.