Clinton Campaign Plans to Target Obama’s Drug Use – Updated

With all the news about lackluster GOP debate today, this almost flew under the radar.

This comes from the AP via MyWay:

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – 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’s campaign said the Clinton people were getting desperate. Clinton’s campaign tried to distance itself from the remarks.

Bill Shaheen, a national co-chairman of Clinton’s front-runner campaign, raised the issue during an interview with The Washington Post, posted on washingtonpost.com.

Shaheen, an attorney and veteran organizer, said much of Obama’s background is unknown and could be a problem in November 2008 if he is the Democratic nominee. He said the Republicans would work hard to discover new aspects of Obama’s admittedly spotty youth.

“It’ll be, ‘When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'” said Shaheen, whose wife Jeanne is the state’s former governor and is running for the U.S. Senate next year.

That’s pretty dirty. Granted, Obama openly admitted to experimenting with drugs in his youth but still, to dredge that up as a reason not to vote for him? I’m sure some would agree with Hillary but all-in-all, this wouldn’t be an issue if Hillary was leading.

Sounds like Hillary is going to trot out the “How much do we really know about Obama?” question as her criticisms of him. In return, we know quite a bit about the Clintons, there isn’t much we don’t know except the documents they won’t release.

Hillary denies her campaign mentioned this or supports the comments:

Clinton’s campaign said it had nothing to do with his comments.

“Senator Clinton is out every day talking about the issues that matter to the American people. These comments were not authorized or condoned by the campaign in any way,” spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said.

Perhaps Hillary’s supporters are getting more desperate than she is.

Obama issued a response as well:

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 with that statement, Obama has addressed this before, and of Hillary or anyone associated with her campaign attempts to use it, they will look really bad in the eyes of most.

Perhaps Obama should float words like “Whitewater” if Hillary’s into dragging up the past.

Update

Obama’s now tied with Hillary in New Hampshire, this from Fox News:

A new poll out of New Hampshire shows Hillary Clinton losing her footing in the early voting Granite State.

The WMUR/CNN poll released Wednesday showed the New York senator’s lead — which as recently as a month-and-a-half ago was at a robust 20 points — dwindling to a statistical tie with Democratic rival Barack Obama.

The poll showed Clinton with 31 percent in New Hampshire, and Obama with 30 percent.

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards came in with 16 percent.

This is turning into a genuine horse race. Hillary’s got to be having heartburn over polls like this.