Shaheen Brings Up Obama’s Drug Use, Didn’t Care Much About Gore’s

Some context might be helpful as Bill Shaheen, a prominent New Hampshire Democrat and the husband of former Governor (and 2008 Senate candidate) Jeanne Shaheen, does the Clinton campaign’s bidding in an effort to raise doubts about Barack Obama’s character.

Shaheen, a Hillary supporter who often accompanies the candidate on her trips to New Hampshire, is pointedly raising the issue of Obama’s admissions of past drug use, according to the Washington Post:

"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."

What’s interesting is that the Shaheens — both Bill and Jeanne — were critical players in Al Gore’s 2000 campaign, helping to orchestrate the narrow New Hampshire win that essentially handed Gore the nomination over Bill Bradley. And Gore — just like Obama — had admitted to a past history of drug use, something he first fessed up to when he ran for President in 1988. The Shaheens had no qualms about supporting Gore despite this, and while there are many reasons why Al Gore’s candidacy failed against George W. Bush, his past drug use was hardly a factor. So why does Shaheen suddenly think it’s a big deal? Could it have anything to do with the latest New Hampshire polls, which show Hillary’s lead vanishing?

Shaheen Brings Up Obama’s Drug Use, Didn’t Care Much About Gore’s