It was as low a blow as has lately been
landed in national politics.
And it had all the subtlety of a
surprise kick to the groin.
Bill Shaheen, husband of ex-Gov. Jeanne
Shaheen of New Hampshire, a national co-chair of the
Clinton campaign, volunteered to The Washington Post
his concern at what might happen to Barack Obama,
were he to be nominated.
"The Republicans are not going to
give up without a fight…and one of the things they`re
certainly going to
jump on is drug use,"
said Shaheen. And, as Obama has admitted in his
autobiography to using drugs, this will "open the
door" to further probing. [In
Iowa, a Scrambling Lesson for Clinton,
By Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post, December
"It`ll be: `When was the
last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you
sell them to anyone?` There are so many openings for
Republican dirty tricks. It`s hard to overcome."
Well, it`s sure going to be harder to
overcome, now that Bill Shaheen has suggested
young Barack might have been a drug-dealer on the
South Side of Chicago, and now that the press has
been alerted as to precisely what questions should be
put to him—before Iowa.
Having planted this poisonous weed,
Shaheen dutifully resigned. Then Mark Penn, Hillary`s
top adviser, went on Hardball to assure us his
campaign would not stoop so low as to raise the issue.
Said Penn, "I think we have made clear that …
the issue related to cocaine use is not something that
the campaign was in any way raising."
By introducing cocaine, Penn alerted the
press that, if Obama did deal drugs, we are not talking
airplane glue or mushrooms. This little episode
Robert Novak`s report a month ago, when, relying on
a Clinton source among other Democrats, Novak wrote:
"Agents of Sen. Hillary
Clinton are spreading the word in Democratic circles
that she has scandalous information about her principal
opponent for the party`s presidential nomination, Sen.
Barack Obama, but has decided not to use it. The nature
of the alleged scandal was not disclosed.
among Democrats makes Obama look vulnerable and Clinton
look prudent. It comes during a dip for the
front-running Clinton after
she refused to take a stand on New York Gov.
Eliot Spitzer`s now discarded plan to give driver`s
licenses to illegal aliens."
vs. Obama, November 17, 2007]
Putting it all together, it would appear
A) The Clinton campaign
has acquired and been sitting on information about
Obama`s past involvement with drugs.
B) The Clintonites
initially decided not to use it, but to leak word they
had it. This would shake Obama up and knock him off his
C) Bill Shaheen, and
perhaps others, decided that the situation has become so
dire for Hillary in the early caucus and primary states
they had to move the story, to stop Obama`s surge after
And the Clinton campaign has reason to
be nervous. According to
Howard Fineman of Newsweek, Obama has taken
the lead in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South
Carolina, the first four contests. Should Obama win the
four, he could electrify the party and swamp the Clinton
machine on Feb. 5.
Comes now the dilemma for Democrats.
Should Obama lose Iowa to Hillary, he will likely lose
New Hampshire and the nomination, as well. But Hillary`s
victory would be tarnished. For Obama`s supporters would
see the Clintonites as having done him in by raising the
specter of drug-dealing and planting terror in the
hearts of Democrats of a dark Obama past being exposed
after his nomination.
And this is exactly what Shaheen was
implying might happen. But what does Shaheen know that
the press and the public do not? Has the Clinton
opposition research team dug into Obama`s past and
unearthed there scandalous matters the nation does not
If it has, that would disqualify Obama
for the vice presidential nomination, as well—and his
huge following, now tasting victory, might take out
their anger on the party that dissed him come November.
Yet, if Obama makes it to the
nomination, Republicans, and the press, will now raise
the issue of whether Obama, who has admitted using
marijuana and perhaps cocaine, ever bought drugs for
others or, more critically, sold drugs.
Nor is this a trivial matter. U.S.
Appellate Court Judge Douglas Ginsburg
had to withdraw as Reagan`s
nominee to the Supreme Court after admitting to
having "experimented" with marijuana and shared
it with law students.
What the Clintonites have implied about
Obama is far worse.
Obama is going to have to address this.
And when he does, his credibility will be on the line.
For unless the Clintonites have put out deliberate
falsehoods, they know something we do not.
The question, "What is it?" will,
if Barack is nominated, haunt Democrats to Election Day.
This is a dirty trick that appears to have damaged both
would-be beneficiary and intended victim.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
to VDARE.COM readers; his book
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America,
can be ordered from Amazon.com. His new book