Clinton Advisor Shaheen Resigns Over Obama Comments

Hillary Clinton's New Hampshire campaign advisor Bill Shaheen resigned today after yesterday's ill-advised and unauthorized comments about Barack Obama's drug use.

Bill Shaheen, a national co-chairman for Clinton and a prominent New Hampshire political figure, had raised the issue of Obama's youthful drug use during a Wednesday interview, published on washingtonpost.com.

"I made a mistake and in light of what happened, I have made the personal decision that I will step down as the co-chair of the Hillary for President campaign," Shaheen said in a statement released by the campaign Thursday. "This election is too important, and we must all get back to electing the best qualified candidate who has the record of making change happen in this country. That candidate is Hillary Clinton."

Hillary apologized to Barack Obama today on the tarmac as they waited for a plane from D.C. to Iowa for the debate.

It was an unfortunate, regrettable incident. There's no room for these kind of errors this late in the game. Shaheen did the right thing by resigning.

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    Great. I can suggest a couple other (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 07:01:03 PM EST
    people on her staff Hillary Clinton should encourage to leave also.

    Jgarza, your trolling for Obama here (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:09:28 AM EST
    is getting tiresome. Please don't use this site to blatantly shill for him. And don't make accusations about the other candidates particularly when they are your opinions and not fact. I deleted one such unsubstantiated attack.

    Why don't you start your own pro-Obama blog?

    Now you are personally (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Jgarza on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:48:22 AM EST
    attacking me.  I'm honest about who i support. I have never attacked you personally, and in fact have stated many times that i have great respect for you, even when i disagree.  My opinion that her campaign was behind this is supported by Mr Edsall from the Huffingtonpost, who was reporting that the Clinton campaign was circulating this story around, I have linked to this several times.  So i think it is unfair for you to declare this an unsubstantiated claim.  Your source for claiming it is not true is based on a statement from her campaign, certainly not an unbiased source. Of course if there is evidence her campaign had a wider roll in releasing it, I think it is fair game to speculate what their rational may have been.

    If you disagree, you are a smart woman I'm confident you could make a case other wise, i don't see how it warrants a delete.

    Please don't use this site to blatantly shill for him  

    I'm sorry i have been very honest who i support.  Clearly that is different from who you support, but I don't see how me having a different opinion is grounds for you to ask me to stop commenting. My understanding is that is what comment sections are for.

    Guess what your readers are not going to agree with you on every thing you write, i have been consistent on the one issue i disagree with you on.

    This is a left of center blog and we are in a contest of many left of center candidates. I don't see how you can post about the primary and not understand that people will disagree with you.


    What's the fuss? (none / 0) (#1)
    by QuakerInABasement on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 06:50:20 PM EST
    Why do I keep thinking of all the phony uproar back in 2004 when John Kerry mentioned Dick Cheney's gay daughter?

    It's not like Shaheen brought up something Obama never talks about or denies. Obama has been quite open about his past drug use. He talked about it just the other day. Why is mentioning it off limits to the other candidates?

    I don't agree (none / 0) (#3)
    by MarkL on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 07:01:54 PM EST
    Jeralyn, I respect your opinion on drug laws and crime, but I think Shaheen was right about Obama's potential problems in the general election, even if he crossed a line in the specifics of his speculation.
    For me, cocaine is in another category from pot. Marijuana is harmless, while cocaine has devastating effects---not to mention that when you buy cocaine you are putting money in the hands of murderous drug lords in South America.
    I don't like the casual attitude I've seen expressed about cocaine use in the last few days---and more importantly, I don't think such attitudes reflect the views of the voting public as a whole.
    Two questions. First, do you really think the Republicans won't hammer Obama on his cocaine use?
    Get real! Giuliani  praised Obama's honesty on drug use not because he admires him, but because he likes a sitting duck!
    Second, Do you really think that the public does not care about cocaine use? I'm sure a lot of voters don't even know that about Obama. If they did, would that change their votes?
    Just imagine if a candidate had admitted doing heroin. Do you think there is any chance in hell that person could become President? No way!
    Pot is ok. Coke? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Over the next few days, I'm sure the cable news shows will be discussing what Shaheen said, and what Obama has said about drug use,  ad nauseam.
    I can't imagine this will help him.

    Finally, do some of you think I'm using right wing talking points? Well, maybe I am. Just as Shaheen was doing, I'd like you to think what an Obama candidacy in the GE would really be like. If  the next few days of coverage of his cocaine use don't  hurt him---great. If they do, better to know now.

    clutch the pearls (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jgarza on Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 11:16:15 PM EST
    not to mention that when you buy cocaine you are putting money in the hands of murderous drug lords in South America.

    yeah because all marijuana is produced by free loving hippies, none of it comes from drug lords in south America.

    Just imagine if a candidate had admitted doing heroin. Do you think there is any chance in hell that person could become President? No way!
    Pot is ok. Coke? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Herion and cocaine are not the same, and you have to remember when Obama was a teenager people didn't think cocaine was that bad.  What is the point of this anyhow, you aren't allowed to have ever made a true mistake in your life.  Smoking pot is a pseudo mistake, so it's ok, but if it was a real mistake you are banned from public office?

    The Clinton campaign figured there would be people like you, so they figured even if they took a hit it wouldn't matter, because there are enough overly judgmental people like you,  who think its best when candidates pretend like they aren't real humans, and haven never made a mistake. PATHETIC


    What do you mean, coke wasn't (none / 0) (#6)
    by MarkL on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:08:13 AM EST
    bad when Obama was a teenager. Sorry, that won't wash.

    Time to get in touch with reality. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Aaron on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 01:24:31 AM EST
    Yet let's start digging up all the people who did cocaine in the 80s, and exposing them.  That's at least two thirds of Congress right there.  And in Florida, I don't know a politician under 60 who hasn't done cocaine.

    And perhaps you forgotten that George W. Bush was a serious coke head probably at the same time he was flying jet fighters for the National Guard.  Cocaine and flying, I can tell you that is the only way to fly.  :-)

    And as to your comments about cocaine supporting drug lords, perhaps so, but more importantly it supports hundreds of thousands of subsistence farmers all across Bolivia and Columbia, people who can't feed their children on the pittance they receive for growing coffee, coffee that people pay top dollar for at Starbucks and in their local supermarkets, but you think any of those profits make it to those farmers, they don't.  

    It's too bad for those farmers that cocaine isn't legal, or at least cocoa leaves in their raw form, because their lives would be a whole lot better if they can trade freely, the way farmers here do with that deadly poison and proven killer known as tobacco.  

    Same goes for the people of Afghanistan, who could be selling their raw opium on the legitimate market as low-cost pain medication for people around the world who are suffering with cancer, AIDS and all manner of horrifically painful maladies that they have no relief from today. Instead we have huge pharmaceutical companies making enormous profits selling oxycodone and hydrocodone (synthetic opiates) which are just as addictive as opium pain medication, as we now know through the research.  More huge lies propagated by the drug companies and our burgeoning health-care industrial complex.

    I don't agree with Ron Paul on many things, but he's dead right about the drug war, it's the biggest lie going.  I'm not particularly for legalizing dangerous things like cocaine or heroin, but I wouldn't have a problem legalizing cocoa leaf or raw opium for sale just like cigarettes and alcohol.  At the very least we should decriminalize this stuff, and the whole drug war nightmare would end overnight.

    Back in the 80s I watched people get rich, and I'm talking about serious wealth creation, bringing drugs in to Florida from the islands, and it was all done by white collar businessman with standing in the community, people who today own car dealerships, real estate companies, construction companies, brokerage houses etc., pillars of the community who you would never suspect were once drug runners.  They figured out how to do it efficiently, the way professional capitalists do everything.

      Interesting that much of that wealth which was responsible for a significant amount of growth across southern Florida, originated from such people running their Fishing Boats over to the Bahamas two to four times a year, and all they had to worry about after that was their taxes.  You wouldn't believe the people who were in that business.  If the whole truth were to ever come out, there would be a whole lot of politicians, wealthy businessmen and entrepreneurs in America who would find themselves disgraced and in prison, in very short order.

    Trust me, no one wants to start casting those stones around, especially the Republicans.

    Like I said in a previous comment, if the Clinton campaign has anything on Obama, they should use it, and use it now, because once the rest of America gets a look at Barack Obama, it's going to be a done deal.  You can only screw the American people for so long, before they roll over and say I've had enough.


    Bush never admitted cocaine use. (none / 0) (#12)
    by MarkL on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 07:49:07 AM EST
    In fact, the lengths the Bush campaign went to discrediting those rumors (driving "Favorite Son" author to suicide) bolsters my point.
    Denying a rumor is one thing---any good politician can do that. Denying one's one admission is impossible.
    I'm not arguing morality---only the politics of it. Surely you agree that if a candidate did heroin, he wouldn't have a chance, right? Some things are just out of bounds, for a Presidential candidate.
    No matter how lightly you treat cocaine use, there are millions of people who think it's quite negative.

    We'll see what happens.


    Doing a couple lines back in the day (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 06:33:07 AM EST
    is no character flaw in my book. Makes you human.

    Cheating on your wife is  a flaw, as it involves betrayal. Having the taxpayer foot the bill for your affair is a flaw, as it involves fraud.  Doing some lines decades ago?  Gimme a break.


    I don't agree (none / 0) (#13)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 10:39:26 AM EST

    IMHO, one time use 30 or so years ago by a teen are a non-issue for almost all Americans.  So far, nothing I have heard about Obama in that regard would cause me to vote for McCain over him.

    Joe Klein (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jgarza on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 01:44:45 AM EST
    Is an idiot!

    He was on CNN just now.
    Saying that this Clinton Gaffe is a sign of fear in her campaign.

    That sounds like he might be about to say something insightful.
    Oh but this is Joe Klein!
    What is his rational for this.
    Hillary was talking through her nose and not from her diaphragm.. must mean she is scared.

    How does this man have a column at a national magazine?

    I talk through my nose, thats just my voice.  Wadda JERK!