Austin Hill

So - - what in the world happened to Hillary Rodham Clinton last week?

The one-time frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination faced a slue of bad news, and committed a series of what where perceived to have been “blunders” in her campaign. By the end of the week, her campaign had sustained a key resignation, a key defection, and a growing chorus of commentators saying that her campaign was in trouble, and that Mrs. Clinton could end up losing all four early primary races.

After changing her approach with rival Barack Obama back in November to one of “hitting back,” in early December Mrs. Clinton took to criticizing Obama for having written of his presidential ambitions when he was in kindergarten, and in the third grade. Then when Mrs. Clinton faced criticism for being “petty,” she had her aides insist that the criticisms of Obama’s childhood were a “joke,” and express disbelief that anybody would take them seriously.

But back to last week - - on Wednesday, heavyweight New Hampshire Hillary campaign operative Bill Shaheen told the Washington Post that, if he were to become the Democratic nominee for President, Obama would be constantly nagged about his past marijuana usage, and therefore would be a liability to the party. This led to Shaheen’s resignation from the campaign the next day, and a swift apology from Hillary.

Now, let’s examine this “Obama liability” thing very carefully. When it comes to Democratic party politics, Bill Shaheen, if you’re not familiar, is most certainly a New Hampshire heavyweight. He is a much sought-after guy when it comes to primary election campaigns, and has been helping candidates win in his state since the days of Jimmy Carter. And as if those aren’t sufficient credentials, he is himself a former U.S. Attorney, and his wife is former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen.

Call me crazy, but I find it difficult to believe that a political veteran like Bill Shaheen would make such strong statements about his candidate’s opponent, without being authorized and directed to do so by the candidate’s “inner circle,” or perhaps by the candidate herself. If my analysis is correct and indeed Mr. Shaheen was directed to do this by, say, Mr. or Mrs. Clinton, only to have the Clinton’s tender his resignation after the tactic blew-up in Mrs. Clinton’s face, then this would seem consistent with some of the worst things we know about the Clintons. They are no strangers to brazen political tactics, but worse yet, they are often highly hurtful and destructive to the closest and most loyal people around them.


Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.