Smear campaigns are nothing new.
"Slinging muck at an opponent goes back to the earliest elections in this country. Dirty tactics are a part of the process, and, like it or not, they work. Opposition research firms are hired to comb through a candidate's life looking for any mole hill that can be constructed into a mountain. Half-baked allegations and venomous personal attacks have become the norm..."Ozarks Politics: DIRTY POLITICS AT MSU