From Willie Horton to windsurfing: Five top political attack ads

Political attacks ads: love 'em or hate 'em, but they’re here to stay, and this election year stands to be a watershed moment in their use. Here's a look at what are considered to be some of the most memorable and effective attack ads utilized over the years. 

3. Windsurfing ad helps sink John Kerry

WHAT: “Windsurfing” 

WHEN: 2004

WHO: President George W. Bush (R) vs. Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts

BACKGROUND:  As with McGovern, Senator Kerry’s opponent – this time, the Bush campaign itself, rather than a third-party – sought to portray Kerry as a politician prone to changing positions. The image that Kerry hoped would burnish his credentials as an athletic, adventuresome sporting enthusiast was instead used to portray him as a “flip-flopper,” a label that stuck through his loss to President Bush.

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