Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Clinton camp:
Obama's former drug use a problem

With the latest CNN/WMUR poll showing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in a dead heat among New Hampshire primary voters, you knew the gloves were bound to come off. And they have.

Yesterday, Billy Shaheen, a national co-chair of Clinton's New Hampshire campaign and husband of the former NH Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, questioned Obama's "electability" because of his former drug use.

Your blogstress had no use for Chris Dodd's attempt to leverage the latent sexism of some in the Democratic base when he cast aspersions on Hillary Clinton's "electability," and she has none for Shaheen's apparent appeal to any submerged racial prejudice that may exist among the voters in a state where nary a black person is to be seen. Because of Obama's racial identity, the question of drug use will undoubtedly link in some minds with the stereotyped image of the black drug-thug. And that's a despicable thing to use as a wedge in a Democratic primary.

For more depth, devotees can read your Webwench's post on the subject at TAPPED.

Herewith, the report on Shaheen's remarks from Alec MacGillis of The Trail at WashingtonPost.com.

For a little background, check out this excellent piece by the Post's Lois Romano.

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Live-blogging the G.O.P.-Des Moines Register debate
Thank Goddess; they're finished

A boring debate in which no candidate hurt himself too badly. Most interesting ideas: Huckabee on education and health care; Ron Paul on monetary policy.

For Giuliani, not such a great outing. Thompson revived concerns about his knowledge base when he couldn't really find anything to say about NAFTA. (He was answering a question about how he would change the agreement, given the chance.)

No questions for Huckabee about Zev Chafets's provocative New York Times Magazine piece. Bummer.

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Live-blogging the G.O.P.-Des Moines Register debate
Rudy: cellophane man

"I've led a transparent life."

Even when obscure government offices were used to pay the security costs for his mistress.

Oy.

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Live-blogging the G.O.P.-Des Moines Register debate
More Alan Keyes, please

Otherwise I might just fall asleep.

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Live-blogging the G.O.P.-Des Moines Register debate
Huckabee sounding like Obama

"We are a polarized nation country. And that polarized nation country has led to paralyzed government."

Went on to say something like he wants to be the president of all the people of the United States.

Also called on Republicans and conservatives to stop fighting with each other.

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Live-blogging the G.O.P.-Des Moines Register debate
Huckabee sounds great on education

Though perhaps a little nellie on all that arts education stuff. I mean, what good Republican wants his red-blooded boy learning about areas in which homosexuals hold court? I mean, you can't even show them a picture of Michelangelo's David without applying a fig leaf.

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Live-blogging the G.O.P.-Des Moines Register debate
Hunter: Good teachers run out by unions

That's what Rep. Duncan Hunter just said happened to Jaime Escalante, the teacher of cinematic fame who taught calculus to poor kids in Los Angeles.

I don't know that it's true or untrue, but I was initially confused that a Republican was standing there lionizing teachers. Of course, he chose one who had been "run out by the unions."

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Live-blogging the G.O.P.-Des Moines Register debate
Soon I'll have to call it nap-blogging

Yawn.

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Live-blogging the G.O.P.-Des Moines Register debate
Alan Keyes: still bonkers

He has one of two answers to every question: 1) the people with whom stand on this stage are stealing taxpayer dollars; 2) Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I gotta eat the worms because I represent YOU.

NOW ARE YOU LISTENING??!!!

Addendum: At least he's not talking about Mary Cheney's sex organs, as he did in 2004.

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This just in: Global warming is "real"

...and made worse by humans. At least according to Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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Thompson: I wanna be like Mitt

Make that, "Rich like Mitt."


Asked about a fair tax structure, Romney said he wasn't staying up at night worrying about the taxes that rich people are paying. Of course, Romney has put his own millions into his own megabucks campaign, and he's still got pretty deep pockets.

In reply, actor and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson said that he'd like to have Mitt's problems.

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Live-blogging the G.O.P.-Des Moines Register debate
Romney: Cut pregnancy-prevention for teens

Asked whether he would be willing to go into deficit spending to pay for important priorities, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said that he would cut programs that weren't working -- for instance, teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Jeez, ya think they're not working because they're "abstinence only"? Nah....

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Stop outsourcing bomb-making

That's what former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, today's It Boy among the Republican presidential hopefuls, had for an answer to a question about whether the deficit constitutes a national security issues.

Addendum: Who is making our bombs? If it's China, I hope they're painting them with the same stuff they're using on the Fisher-Price toys.

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Today's must-read
Chafets on Huckabee: The next incarnation of the religious right?

Zev Chafets has written a really smart and engaging profile of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher. You can find it here, or in this coming Sunday's New York Times Magazine.

Huckabee has shown himself to be quite the phenom, and Chafets succeeds in lifting the veil from the charming preacher's nice-guy image to reveal a man who plays a little bit nasty when temptation calls. Last night, on MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews, referring to Huckabee's implicit sowing of doubt against his Mormon rival, Mitt Romney, gleefully read this bit from the Chavets piece:

I asked Huckabee, who describes himself as the only Republican candidate with a degree in theology, if he considered Mormonism a cult or a religion. "I think it’s a religion," he said. "I really don’t know much about it."

I was about to jot down this piece of boilerplate when Huckabee surprised me with a question of his own: "Don’t Mormons," he asked in an innocent voice, "believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"
Most significantly, though, Chavets poses the question of what becomes of Huckabee after the 2008 election (assuming that he doesn't win the presidency). Charles Dunn, dean of the Regent University school of government, suggests that the Huckabee candidacy leaves him poised to become one of the top preachers in the land. And Dunn should know how that works. Regent University was founded by Pat Robertson, who became one of the top dogs of the religious right when he used the mailing lists of his 1988 presidential campaign to launch the Christian Coalition.

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