Definition of Hatchet Job
What does the term "hatchet job" mean? What is the definition of the term "hatchet job"?
In the world of politics, a "hatchet job" refers to when somebody launches a harsh and personal attack against a candidate for office. A "hatchet job" will usually include distortions, half-truths or even complete untruths in an effort to besmirch a candidate's character.
In the 2012 election cycle, Super PACs engaged in many "hatchet jobs", as they are free to criticize any candidate for public office that they wished. Because Super PACs aren't allowed to co-ordinate directly with any party or candidate, they can be as nasty as they want to be without getting anybody into trouble.
For instance, let's say that a pro-Barack Obama Super PAC engages in a "hatchet job" against Mitt Romney. Let's say that the "hatchet job" includes some half truths and misrepresentations about Romney and his policies. Well, because Obama isn't coordinating directly with the Super PAC, he can simply say that he isn't involved and didn't authorize the advertisements. As mentioned, this allows Super PACs to do the "dirty work" and release VERY negative ads against candidates for office. If you'll notice, Super PACs spend much more money opposing candidates for office than they do supporting candidates for office.
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