In the wake of a tightening race that shows Barack Obama pulling into a tie with Hillary Clinton in his home state of New Hampshire, top Clinton advisor Bill Shaheen has raised concerns about Obama's past admissions of drug use.
CONCORD, N.H. - 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 campaign manager David Plouffe said in response to Shaheen's remarks:
"Hillary Clinton said attacking other Democrats is the fun part of this campaign, and now she's moved from Barack Obama's kindergarten years to his teenage years in an increasingly desperate effort to slow her slide in the polls. Senator Clinton's campaign is recycling old news that Barack Obama has been candid about in a book he wrote years ago, and he's talked about the lessons he's learned from these mistakes with young people all across the country. He plans on winning this campaign by focusing on the issues that actually matter to the American people."
I agree that this is a desperation ploy by the Clinton campaign and they are worried they might (gasp) lose.
Here is the question: WHAT DOES WHAT SOMEONE DID AS A TEENAGER HAVE TO DO WITH HOW THEY WOULD CONDUCT THEMSELVES TODAY? Obama said he has learned from his mistakes, and that is as good an answer as the question has.
It's been years since Obama's acknowleged use of drugs, and the fact of the matter is that you probably will find very few people who were absolutely squeaky clean in every way when they were in high school.
And at least he admits that he inhaled.
Let me quote from a post I wrote recently, ironically defending a campaign advisor to Republican Fred Thompson who it turned out had served prison time for drug related crimes a quarter century ago:
First and foremost, it's a matter of time. I wrote a post once, called the prison that follows prison that dealt with how hard it is for a convicted felon in America to become a productive member of society, or for that matter to be anything other than a convicted felon in the eyes of most people. For that matter, unless he's had his rights restored, Philip Martin would not be allowed to vote in most states. But look, his last conviction was TWENTY-FOUR years ago! TWENTY-FOUR bloody years ago! Do we EVER forgive anybody, or let them move ahead with their lives? The man has kept out of trouble for nearly a quarter of a century, and some people want to haul up what he did in 1979 or 1983. Guess what? Besides it being a long time ago, he was also a lot younger then. Sometimes younger people do foolish things, and then they learn from them. All the evidence is that Philip Martin did learn from his mistakes.
Unfortunately after I wrote the post praising Thompson for standing by Martin and not pressuring him to resign, Martin did resign under pressure.
People make mistakes, especially when they are young. I've never thought that the mistakes that people made in their youth should be held against them when they get older, assuming of course that they straighten themselves out and stop making those mistakes. Obviously, Obama has done that.
And to be honest, I have a former co-worker who lives in Albuquerque and grew up in Chicago, and he knew Hillary's family and was a friend of her brother's. He's told me stories about that, but I won't choose to publish them here.
I won't, because they don't matter.