Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged Goods?

Here's a column by the liberal Chicago Sun-Times writer Lynn Sweet about Obama's drug problem:

Obama, guesting last month on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" was asked by Leno about taking drugs.

"Remember, senator, you are under oath. Did you inhale?" Leno asked.

Replied Obama, "That was the point."

Critics could ask why Obama did not add a cautionary "Just Say No" message for impressionable youths.

The Washington Post article, by Lois Romano, makes several key points: Obama will become the first presidential candidate to admit using cocaine. And it remains to be seen if Obama has more to tell. An anonymous Republican strategist told Romano, and she paraphrased the source, "that a problem could arise if there is more to his story than he has chosen to share."

http://www.suntimes.com/news/sweet/19711 1,CST-NWS-sweet04.article

We already know Barack Obama is a smoker, which certainly doesn't give him credibility when it comes to fighting the tobacco companies as any Democratic nominee should do.  But what we may or may NOT know is that he becomes the first candidate to admit to using cocaine.

How do we know this?  He says so in his book, "Dreams of My Father." 

"I had learned not to care," he wrote.  "I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years.  Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.  Not smack, though.  ..."

While there have been rumors about Bush's cocaine use, it has never been confirmed.  Therefore the allegations can be construed as a partisan attack.  In this case, however, the source is Obama himself, who has admitted not only smoking pot, which isn't a big deal anymore, but to using cocaine.

Will his past drug use damage him as a candidate?

Tags: Barack Obama, cocaine, George Bush, pot, smoking (all tags)

Comments

39 Comments

Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him

No.

by clarkent 2007-02-06 02:43AM | 0 recs
No. unless the GOP has a 527

called snorters for truth and they start making grainy black and white's of people who claimed to do drugs with him.

otherwise probably not.. Look at GW...

by TarHeel 2007-02-06 03:04AM | 0 recs
Re:

Not really - just emphasizes the current divisions. It makes him even more popular with younger voters, while providing the older age group and those who don't want to elect a black man as president, with more reasons to feel he isn't a suitable candidate.

by kundalini 2007-02-06 03:09AM | 0 recs
Re:

Someone using illegal drugs doesn't make me more inclined to vote for them.  I'm 24.

by Vox Populi 2007-02-06 03:15AM | 0 recs
Re:

If Edwards came out and admitted to using illegal drugs in his youth, would you jettison your support of Edwards?  Or is Obama a problem because you don't like him and have been writing many negative things about him since he became a serious contender?  Just trying to see where your integrity lies.

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-06 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Cocaine Problem

It wouldn't matter to me, but I think drug possession should be de-criminalized. Will the Republicans and their henchmen 527's give him a free ride: I don't think so.

by jfoster 2007-02-06 03:25AM | 0 recs
I'm surprised there's no joke

on youtube about snorters for truth,,

by TarHeel 2007-02-06 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

He'll manage.  The fact he revealed all this stuff in 1995 really takes the wind out of it.  Look at the madrassa story.  Non issue.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 03:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

Madrassa was a non-issue because it was a non-issue.  Speculation of cocaine use dogged Bush in both campaigns.  Confirmation of cocaine use will dog Obama in his.

by Vox Populi 2007-02-06 03:38AM | 0 recs
I think the media tells us who

are primary candidate is.

 After the primary than the media will turn their efforst to spreading dirt on whoever the dem. nominee is.

by TarHeel 2007-02-06 03:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

What is there to speculate about though?  He's admitted to using it, nobody is suggesting he still is, are they?  Still don't see this is an issue.  He will cop more flak for being a smoker, I believe.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 04:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

Exactly. He's out front on this, admitted wrongdoing, said it's a bad thing and that he's reformed. Obviously his previous cocaine use doesn't help him, but as long as that's the end of the story, Obama is not "damaged goods".

by clarkent 2007-02-06 05:54AM | 0 recs
funny you say that re: smoking

today's paper had Edwards' health care proposal on A5 but Obama trying to quit smoking on A4!!

so the MSM is fascinated by it I guess.

by TarHeel 2007-02-06 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

I don't even think the smoking hurts SINCE he is quitting now.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-06 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

Agreed.  The cocaine issue just makes him look contemporary to those who think he is cool, honest to those who don't care and sinful to those who are never likely to vote for him anyhow.

And he can quit smoking any time the media goes quiet on him for awhile, as if that is ever going to happen.  We love reformed rascals.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

Disagree... Since he admitted it 10 years ago.  Speculation is much worse than the truth.  Look at the Swifties.  Admit or Deny, but don't leave it sitting out there.

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-06 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem

And it didn't in the Senate Primaries in 2004 or the general election and it WAS brought up by the media then... In fact i learned about it from the papers, not from reading Book 1.

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-06 12:33PM | 0 recs
Edwards' bloggers attacks on Obama fail

to gain any traction...as you found out ;)

Edwards new attack phase (see NYTimes on Edwards new scorched Earth campaign) blaming Clinton for Edwards failure in voting for Iraq war, buying into Republican attacks.

Buying into Bush Jr's preemptive war plans by advocating US attack on Iran.

It sounds like Edwards advisor's have told him his only chance to recover from fading poll numbers that put him in a distant third place is to go on a "Swift Boat" campaign against Clinton and Obama.

by BrionLutz 2007-02-06 04:44AM | 0 recs
he's leaving Obama alone

but he will contrast himself with Hillary..

you're a hoot.

If I wanted to attack Obama I'd recommend this diary but I won't because I'm fairly certain that no matter who the nominee is, the GOPers actually will bring up crap like this.. you and I both know it.

by TarHeel 2007-02-06 04:50AM | 0 recs
Re: he's leaving Obama alone

"but he will contrast himself with Hillary."

But his paid blogger's posts against Obama prove you wrong.  The weakness of Edwards's blogger's attacks is more Edwards problem trying to find a wedge against Obama.

Obama beats Edwards in Iraq, Iran, New Orleans, Health Care so Edwards goes for teenage drug use not realizing Obama's honesty is why 200,000 college kids organized an headline grabbing rally in VA.

Edwards is certainly concentrating his attacks on Clinton (his recent claim on Meet the Press) that it was Clinton admin. intel that caused Edwards to vote for Iraq War.

by BrionLutz 2007-02-06 05:18AM | 0 recs
Re: he's leaving Obama alone

Um, I doubt Vox is a paid Edward's blogger.

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-06 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: he's leaving Obama alone

I'm actually on a $4,000/month contract with the Edwards campaign.  Didn't you know that? ;-)

by Vox Populi 2007-02-06 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: he's leaving Obama alone

If this dairy is the best you can do I think you are being overpaid.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: he's leaving Obama alone

I'm joking.

I didn't think the diary was all that bad.  It's really a legitimate question, or so I thought.  I was apparantly wrong.

by Vox Populi 2007-02-06 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: he's leaving Obama alone

I was joking too.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: he's leaving Obama alone

I was referring to the bloggers recently purchased by Edwards.

by BrionLutz 2007-02-06 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: he's leaving Obama alone

Give the 'paid blogger' thing a rest please, Brion.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 12:41PM | 0 recs
Edwards attacks on Hillary aren't succeeding

But Edwards is sounding very screechy in these attacks, and that's not going to help him at all.  So much for positive campaigning.

Edwards' calling Hillary "too sensitive" was really a low gender-biased blow, as well as being clearly untrue.  No candidate should stoop so low as Edwards has with that gender-baiting "too sensitive" argument.

by francislholland 2007-02-06 06:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards attacks on Hillary aren't succeeding

Edwards has slipped to third in all polls and a distant third to Hillary.

His recent attacks on her, the "too sensitive aka a woman" comment should lose him lots of women's votes. They hear that crap all the time.

His claim that Edwards' bad voting record on Iraq was all the the Clinton's fault, a line used and repeated by the GOP, is another case of Edwards losing votes due to negative campaigning.

by BrionLutz 2007-02-06 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards attacks on Hillary aren't succeeding

Not only a dog-whistle low blow but patently false.  In spite of her best efforts I have never accepted she could be truly 'sensitive.'  Au contraire.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

Whatever he loses from drug use, I think he makes back double from being forthright.  A lot of people are in search of an honest politician.

by Steve M 2007-02-06 04:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem ...

Given that this diary is being posted now, two months after the Washington Post and Sweet articles came out, and 10 yars after Obama admitted his drug use, it is safe to say it is being used by a supporter of another candidiate (in this case Edwards) to harm Obama.  

Now I have no problem defending Senator Obama against these claims.

What I don't appreciate is how parts of this post are misleading. Above it states:

"Critics could ask why Obama did not add a cautionary "Just Say No" message for impressionable youths."  

If the poster did his or her research, he or she would know that in the interview Obama said immediately after saying he inhaled, "Now I don't want to make light of this." Moreover, he called it a "mistake." Before you post an attack, you should check your sources.

http://www.thismuchleft.com/2006/12/02/t onight-show-with-obama/

Second, there is just no basis for claiming that Obama will not fight tobacco companies because he smokes. His legislative record has shown no favoritism to the tobacco lobby. Frankly, such a sloppy argument is no different than saying that a President Obama would have a tough time combatting Muslim extremists because his father was at one-time a practicing Muslim.

John Edwards is a good candidate. Don't make him look bad with a sloppy (and ineffective) attacks.

by dpg220 2007-02-06 05:38AM | 0 recs
I'm not a big fan of this diary

and the title is over the top..

this should have been incorporated into something else going over all the candidates not just one.

by TarHeel 2007-02-06 05:51AM | 0 recs
If Al Gore Smoke Pot and Failed Law School

which he did, then doing cocaine at some time in the past and nonethleless becoming Editor of the The Harvard Law Review, graduating magna cum laude, should not prevent Senator Obama from becoming President.  

Bush probably did cocaine, although he refused to say whether he had or not.  Clinton smoked marijuana, but did not inhale.  And Gore smoked marijuana so much that he flunked out of two graduate school programs at Vanderbilt University, failing to get degrees in law and divinity in spite of spending two years trying.

It's all summarized (but not very eloquently) here:
 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/12/15 /181824/78

I can't believe that my posts are considered "too negative" for MYDD white posts such as this one pass the smell test.  Actually, I think mine and this post offer important issues for us all to consider, whether we like it or not.

by francislholland 2007-02-06 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: If Al Gore Smoke Pot and Failed Law School

Does anyone ACTUALLY believe the "I didn't Inhale" story?  I don't care that CLinton did it, but is he still floating that BS?

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-06 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

Speaking as an Edwards supporter (and one who likes Obama as well), I really don't care if he STILL smokes weed.  I'd worry about a blow habit while in office though.

"President Rooktoven, the Prime Minister of Germany is here"

"SSKKKNNNWRRKKK-- show her in, I'm ready to tell her why our country is so great. Hey Merkie, babe, just tidying the desk.  You don't mind if I adjust some pictures in the room while you're here do you?  Isn't this a great office?  Do you know how old this office is?  Check out this chair  Get you some water?  Scotch?  Red Bull?  Did I ever tell you about my first campaign?  The second?  That reminds me of a another story..."

by Rooktoven 2007-02-06 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem Make Him Damaged

Well a President on Coke wouldn't be a good role model... but HE'D be able to get a lot of work done.

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-06 12:23PM | 0 recs
No.

I don't have a problem, and I doubt there would be one.

by jallen 2007-02-06 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Does Obama's Cocaine Problem

I say no... He was honest and open about it and if he is hit by his opponents with it he has a great story... My life was messed up and going nowhere, I made bad choices... Finally I picked myself up by my bootstraps, cleaned up, worked hard and made something of myself...

Its different than him hiding it and being exposed or him doing it while he was a lawyer, etc.

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-06 12:22PM | 0 recs

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