Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blackening Obama

As the polls dwindle down, Hillary Clinton's supporters are performing what they delicately call "the political equivalent of a proctology exam on the opposition" by pelting Barack Obama with slime and hoping some of it will stick.

Twisting old news about real estate deals, drug use and (shades of Nixon) slush funds into attacks on his character that might make Karl Rove blush, they are topping it off with accusations that Obama's campaign is importing college students to vote illegally in the Iowa caucuses.

A Clinton national co-chairman is spreading word about possible problems from Obama's youth that Republicans could use if he is the Democratic nominee.

"It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" he told the Washington Post. "There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks"

Meanwhile, the "Hillary is 44" attack crew is dredging for every bit of gossip about "Obama’s myriad real estate deceptions and transactions" and other alleged "lies."

Conservative smearmaster Robert Novak is helping stir the pot. Last month he provoked a Clinton-Obama spat with a report that "agents" of the Clinton campaign had been "spreading the word in Democratic circles that she has scandalous information about her principal opponent."

Today he spotlights an accusation on "Face the Nation" last Sunday that Obama is illegally spreading money from a Nixon-like fund to bolster political support and shoots it down by claiming the PAC fund "contributed to Clinton's 2006 Senate reelection and, in the current cycle, to Jeanne Shaheen's Senate campaign in New Hampshire, even though her husband, Bill Shaheen, heads that state's Clinton campaign."

The days are growing shorter in Iowa and New Hampshire, and more than one kind of darkness is setting in.

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