Bill Shaheen, one of Hillary Clinton’s top New Hampshire supporters, just resigned as one of her campaign’s co-chairmen, a day after he made national headlines by suggesting Barack Obama’s admission of past drug use would be fair political game.
The move comes hours after Clinton personally called Obama to apologize and to swear off any personal attacks in the future. Her campaign has adamantly denied that Shaheen spoke at their behest. Still, even if he wasn’t asked to make his statement yesterday, some will wonder why the topic seemed to be so fresh in Shaheen’s mind. In 2000, he and his wife, then-Governor (and now U.S. Senate candidate) Jeanne Shaheen, actively supported Al Gore, never expresing any concerns about Gore’s own admissions of youthful drug experimentation.
At the very least, this makes it a more complicated proposition for Clinton to campaign more aggressively against Obama — something they have been preparing to do — in the days ahead, since Obama can now defend himself by framing any attacks as an extension of this incident, and of the style of politics he has been suggesting Clinton represents.