Clinton Staffer Attacks Obama Over Past Drug Use

Posted in:

This is ugly. Billy Shaheen, co-chair of Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign has gone after Barack Obama over his past drug use, arguing that the Senator's past could haunt him on the campaign trail:

"The Republicans are not going to give up without a fight ... and one of the things they're certainly going to jump on is his drug use," said Shaheen, the husband of former N.H. governor Jeanne Shaheen, who is planning to run for the Senate next year. Billy Shaheen contrasted Obama's openness about his past drug use -- which Obama mentioned again at a recent campaign appearance in New Hampshire -- with the approach taken by George W. Bush in 1999 and 2000, when he ruled out questions about his behavior when he was "young and irresponsible."

Shaheen said Obama's candor on the subject would "open the door" to further questions. "It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" Shaheen said. "There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome." [Washington Post]

Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you're so concerned about people attacking Obama over his past drug use, you could start by not attacking Obama over his past drug use. The whole thing smacks of desperation as Obama rises in the polls.

Let's be real here. The last two presidents overcame allegations of drug use and found themselves in the White House. The only difference is that Obama has been particularly candid, and it really shouldn't even be necessary to point out that voters actually like honesty. He's told the truth when others lied. Explain to me how that will hurt him if others got away with using drugs and lying about it.

From where I sit, the only person who should be embarrassed by any of this is Hillary Clinton, whose campaign has apparently resorted to the same pathetic smear tactics used on her husband 15 years ago. Give us a break.

Update: Via DrugWarRant, the Clinton Campaign has wisely distanced itself from Shaheen's remarks, and he has even apologized for making them:

Clinton spokesman, Phil Singer, said, "These comments were not authorized or condoned by the campaign in any way."

....In a statement later, Mr. Shaheen said, "I deeply regret the comments I made today, and they were not authorized by the campaign in any way."

(This blog post was published by StoptheDrugWar.org's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)
Location: 
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Get it out in the open

This little dust-up between Clinton and Obama has played itself out favorably to Obama's side. If Obama goes on to win the Democratic primary, I have no doubt that the Republicans will bring up his past drug use, however, there will be no gotcha value to it and Obama will be able to put it behind him.

What's should be of more concern is how Obama will handle the issue of drug policy when his Republican opponent starts to preach the get-tough on drug line. Will Obama cave to the pressure of appearing soft on crime? Or will he stand on more sensible principles? That is the real dilemma.

Yes, he will cave to pressure.

Simply, Obama will stick to the same old story that the war on drugs is a must, and that everybody selling any illegal drugs should spend many years in prison! It is very likely that he did buy for his friends at times, like many of us did in the past in college. Sad!

a president's past shouldn't be relevant, and they aren't

This is really sad. Who does hilary think she is? Who do these people think they are, telling the public that obama's past "drug" use has ANYTHING to do with how he will run this country. I mean come on, who hasn't smoked a little weed at some point in thier life?!! The ONLY reason obama is getting crap about it is because he ADMITTED IT, INSTEAD OF LYING LIKE ALL THE OTHER POLITICIANS.
I think obama would do just fine as our president, and besides, a woman president would be the worst thing ever to happen to our country, I live in Michigan and I know first hand what a woman being in office can do, if you don't already know, MICHIGAN IS NOW THE WORST STATE IN THE COUNRTY BECAUSE OF GRANHOLM, A WOMAN.

Granholm?

I don't think she can take the credit . Try BIG 3 for instance. No MOTOWN no D town, or maybe Michigan just IS the worst state. I lived there for 26 years and I'am qualified to say so. Sorry. With Clinton 2 you get a more "liberal" W. Corporate payback forever. I know this also, because I lived in ARK for 32 years. Next year I will waste my vote for FREEDOM sake....R. PAUL !

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School