Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hey Hilary, What's That Smell? The Scent Of Desperation.

[Racial Disparities Week Continues at]

As you guys know, a few months ago I threw in the towel on the Barry 4 Prez tag, partly out of the sad feeling that America wasn't ready for a qualified Black(ish) President, and partly because I was disappointed at the non-assertive campaign Obama was running. I mean, damn bruh, we're warriors: that lay back in the cut, non-threatening Negro role won't cut it.

Fast-forward a few weeks: Scrutiny of frontrunner Hilary Clinton is heightening, Obama is on the offensive for a change, he pulled the Oprah card early, and now Iowa and New Hampshire both look winnable. Well, on paper at least, you know how reliable those polls are. Just ask Howard Dean.

Quick, cue the Tired Smear Campaign.
A top adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign said Wednesday that Democrats should give more thought to Sen. Barack Obama's admissions of illegal drug use before they pick a presidential candidate.

Obama's campaign said the Clinton people were getting desperate. Clinton's campaign tried to distance itself from the remarks, and the adviser said later he regretted making them.

Bill Shaheen, a national co-chairman of Clinton's front-runner campaign, raised the issue during an interview with The Washington Post, posted on

Shaheen, an attorney and veteran organizer, said much of Obama's background is unknown and could be a problem in November 2008 if he is the Democratic nominee. He said Republicans would work hard to discover new aspects of Obama's admittedly spotty youth.

"It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?"' said Shaheen, whose wife, Jeanne, is the state's former governor and is running for the U.S. Senate next year.

"There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome," Shaheen said.

New polling shows Clinton and Obama basically tied in New Hampshire. A CNN-WMUR-TV poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire shows Clinton at 31 percent support, Obama at 30. The same poll had Obama trailing by 20 points in September.
This wouldn't be the first time the Clinton campaign tossed a low blow at Obama, nor is it the first time his one time drug use has been raised. Let's not forget the allegations of terrorist training Islamic influence while living in Indonesia. And then there was that very odd "we've got some info, but we ain't tellin' what it is (yet)" incident a few weeks back. But given the fact that this race is seemingly tightening by the day, I'd say recycling old news is a harbinger of things to come.

This "allegation" is odd for a couple of reasons. One, the story broke earlier in the year and barely registered a blip on the radar. Two, Obama admitted the drug use himself in his well written but excessively wordy biography Dreams From My Father, a book he wrote while Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and ostensibly before he had formed any real political aspirations. Having read all 4,000cough...dry...cough exciting pages of the book, I can tell you that the blurb being picked apart is completely out of context.

This admission was hardly a paragraph in the 38,200 page tome, as Obama admitted to experimenting with marijuana and a "lil' blow" as an identity confused high school senior in Hawaii. I could be forgetting something, but the ensuing 167,000 pages didn't mention this "drug habit" any further, so I think it's fair to assume that Young Barry was no different that any other teen, yours truly included, who tried things and decided they weren't for him as he matured into an adult. Regardless, Obama is in his mid-40's now, so that was nearly 25+ years ago. Unless someone can dredge up more recent evidence of substance abuse, I'd say this is a non-issue. How often do you hear George Bush's drinking problem dredged up? Rudy Guiliani married his cousin once, but you don't hear him being pegged as a serial incestor. Why the double standard for Barry?

I guess what really pisses me off is the oft repeated allegation that if Obama used drugs, then he must have sold them too, because hey, that's what black men do. When the story broke earlier this year, I heard scores of talk radio hosts and callers echo this sentiment. I can't help but notice that Bill Shaheen. Clinton's co-chair dropped the same subliminal. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

[Editor's Note: Shaheen just stepped down. Hilary made the right call.]

I've made no bones about my support of Obama for President, heck I even gave him his own tag, an honor only previously bestowed upon the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and that legendary arbiter of jurisprudence, Judge Joe Brown, so clearly the guy has something going for him. No, he isn't perfect, but what candidate is? If you dig in everyone's past you'll find a bone or two in the closet, and I mean everyone, not just politicians. I give him credit for proactively admitting his flaws as opposed to denying they exist even after all other involved parties have gone upstate. Then again, that's just my opinion.

Anyways, keep an eye open in coming weeks for more pithy allegations. As I've always said; if the man had an illegitimate kid in Hawaii, some well hidden youth charges, or a white chick on the side, this would be the time for such a skeleton to emerge.

But by reaching for straws and recycling old news, I can only assume Hilary hears footsteps.

Speaking of white chicks on the side, here's a mildly controversial skit from MadTV, since I think it's always good to end on a lighter note. Hey, I thought it was funny.

Clinton Aide Evokes Obama's Past Drug Use [CBS]

Clinton adviser out after Obama comment [AP]

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