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:
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?