Whispering Campaigns

Whispers, as in Â"whispering campaigns,Â" are in the news. Whispering campaigns have opened up, big time, on Republican Presidential hopeful Senator John McCain of Arizona and First Lady Hillary Clinton, who is a Democratic party hopeful for a Senate seat for New York.

The whispering campaign against McCain, according to published reports, was opened by, among others, supporters of Texas Gov. George Bush—some of those, supporters in the Senate. McCain was a combat pilot in Vietnam and spent six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Bush was, for a while, in the Texas air national guard. He never saw full-time active service in the military.

The backdoor, Â"touch up McCainÂ" campaign spread rumors that McCain might be at least a little unstable—because of his long time as a prisoner of war. There is no documentation to support this claim and Gov. Bush himself has never even referred to it. But some of his high level supporters have, according to various published reporters, been spreading it.

As for Mrs. Clinton, the whispering campaign about her has been spread by both her Republican opponents and some Democrats in her own party. SheÂ's proven to be ineffective as a potential candidate, the rumors run, therefore she canÂ't win.

Whispering campaigns, unfair as they often are, are part of the cut and thrust of politics these days. Whether they, in the end, will have any substantial effect is hard to judge.