Bill Clinton? John Quincy Adams?
Dear Quote Investigator: Reading the news and blogs of today emphasizes the fact that political discourse can be extremely brutal. I was reminded of Bill Clinton’s lament when he discussed his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and said there was a harsh new form of politics based on personal destruction. I know that politics has always been rough, but the politics of recent decades seems different. Was Clinton the first to mention the politics of “personal destruction”?
Quote Investigator: No, Clinton was not the first. That exact term was used more than two-hundred years ago about the arduous ordeal of another politician.