Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Susan Medler
PH 816.268.8245
FAX 816.268.8299

Political Expert John Geer to Discuss and Sign Copies of
In Defense of Negativity: Attack Ads in Presidential Campaigns
on October 25 at Truman Library

INDEPENDENCE, MO-John G. Geer, campaign and polling expert and professor of political science at Vanderbilt University, will discuss and sign copies of his much talked-about book, In Defense of Negativity: Attack Ads in Presidential Campaigns at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008 at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Mo. This book event is included with regular Museum admission; copies of Geer's book will be available for sale at Truman Library's Museum Store.

Geer will examine advertising in presidential campaigns from 1960 to the current day and make the claim that the proliferating attack ads are far more likely than positive ads to focus on salient political issues, rather than politicians' personal characteristics. Accordingly, Geer argues, negative campaign ads enrich the democratic process, providing voters with relevant and substantial information before they head to the polls.

Geer's visit to Greater Kansas City takes place just 10 days before Election Day. While some have derided the 2008 campaign as the most negative in modern history, Geer argues that "this negativity about negative ads, in short, is misplaced…. Negativity has played an important role in this country since its founding. It may not be fun, and it may even get ugly at times, but we need to know candidates' shortcomings as well as their strengths. And whether we like it or not, negative ads serve an important role in the democratic process. Perhaps if that message starts to spread, we will be able to see the positive side of negative ads."

John G. Geer is professor of political science at Vanderbilt University and the editor of the Journal of Politics, the editor of Politicians and Party Politics, and the author of Nominating Presidents: An Evaluation of Voters and Primaries and From Tea Leaves to Opinion Polls: Politicians, Information, and Leadership.

Seating for this program is limited and reservations are recommended. Persons interested in attending the discussion and book signing are encouraged to call (816) 268-8215 or email Reservations.Truman@nara.gov.

Hailed as home to America's "best presidential museum," the Truman Library is one of 12 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is supported, in part, by the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, the not-for-profit partner of the Truman Library. The Institute seeks to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history and culture, the process of governance, and the importance of public service, as exemplified by Harry S. Truman. To learn more about the Truman Library and the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, visit www.trumanlibrary.org.


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