Atwater was one of the guys who made convicted murderer Willie Horton a household word in the Bush campaign, assailing Dukakis for allowing a weekend pass from prison for Horton that led to more unspeakable crimes. That one finished the Democratic candidate - a TV commercial that looked awfully racially tuned. He also spread the lies that Dukakis was treated for mental health problems and that his wife had burned an Amercan flag. There was more wretched political behavior that has earned Atwater a deserved reference when political con jobs are on the table. But you get the point.
The avalanche of mud aimed at Barack Obama in this year's campaign would have to challenge Atwater's firm hold on his party's Gold Medal. But it didn't work this time. The media - you know, the liberal media that slept through three Bush campaigns - wasn't suckered this time, no matter what was said about the Democratic candidate. The Internet and cable, the biggest gorillas in the room , became the voice-over for exposing political fakery. In today's media environment, it's quite likely that Atwater would never have had a chance. All-pro conniver Karl Rove, an admirer of Atwater, couldn't even claim a bronze medal.