Ken Blackwell

I could not disagree more with Barack Obama’s pork spending, tax raising, and defeat-embracing liberal agenda, but a recent attack by the Clinton campaign on Mr. Obama was the worst sort of the politics of personal destruction. It was one based on racial stereotypes. Such an attack is racism in all of its ugliness. Though the Congressional Black Caucus has yet to condemn this vicious racial smear, I can’t help but respond.

Perhaps the Black Caucus’ silence is concrete evidence of the silliness of the Left’s notion that racial identity is determined by ideology. You know the logic. Clarence Thomas is conservative, therefore not black. Perhaps Caucus members are victims of this mindlessness and believe the Clintons are incapable of waging racist attacks on blacks because they are “black.” Excuse me, I digress.

Hillary Clinton has a big problem. It’s not because her Christmas ad was perhaps the single worst political ad in this presidential primary season. It’s instead that Mr. Obama has put Mrs. Clinton on the ropes, and so in desperation her New Hampshire co-chairman insidiously suggested that Mr. Obama was a former drug dealer.

Mr. Obama confessed in his earlier writings that he used recreational drugs as a young man.

Not able to stop his momentum, the Clinton camp latched onto his drug use. When that failed to get traction, Clinton’s co-chairman Billy Shaheen said—without evidence—that Obama may have been a cocaine dealer.

It’s hard to believe in an operation as professional and tightly disciplined as the Clinton campaign that such an attack was unauthorized. Mr. Shaheen was deliberately testing that attack. It blew up in their faces, Mrs. Clinton publicly denounced him, and he resigned in disgrace. He’s the fall guy for one of the most despicable political attacks in modern presidential politics.

The Clintons have always decried the politics of personal destruction. Labeling any accusations about Bill Clinton’s personal life as the lies of “a vast right-wing conspiracy,” the 1990s saw the President and First Lady constantly denouncing rumors of past personal misconduct. These condemnations of the politics of personal destruction have continued throughout Mrs. Clinton’s Senate years and in her presidential campaign.

Yet in a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, the Clintons have again dived into the politics of personal destruction themselves, suggesting that a black male who once used drugs must have been a dealer. They make this baseless charge with the full confidence of impunity.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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