December 12, 2007

The Aroma Of Flop Sweat

I've written before that in both politics and romance, desperation does not act as an aphrodisiac. The Hillary Clinton campaign has gone past the stench of desperation to the reek of flop sweat as they see their inevitability collapse into incoherence. Hillary's New Hampshire co-chair warns that surging Barack Obama will get peppered with questions about his admitted high-school drug use:

Billy Shaheen, the co-chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign in New Hampshire, raised the issue of Sen. Barack Obama's past admissions of drug use in discussing the relative electability of the Democrats seeking the presidential nomination today. ...

"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."

Not only has Shaheen and the Clintons become desperate, Shaheen doesn't even have the courage to put the questions out on his own. Given that Obama's admission of high-school drug use got a massive shrug from Republicans, the notion that Republicans would suddenly begin asking about Obama's dealings, in every sense of the word, looks ridiculous. Shaheen wants to force Obama to answer the questions and blame Republicans for forcing him to do it.

How will that play in New Hampshire? About as well as a stalker with a supermodel. The appearance of the wheels coming off the Clinton campaign will only get reinforced by this latest attack. While the Clinton team has moved away from kindergarten essays, they still haven't been able to deal with Obama the adult and have to dig at his childhood dirt instead.

It's pathetic. It's transparently desperate. And it shows a surprisingly tin political ear from the family that once looked like master politicos. Hillary may be the most inept major candidate in the presidential race this cycle, and even the rumored takeover of the campaign by her husband may not salvage her candidacy.


TrackBack URL for this entry: