And the Clinton campaign has reason to be nervous. According to Howard Fineman of Newsweek, Obama has taken the lead in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the first four contests. Should Obama win the four, he could electrify the party and swamp the Clinton machine on Feb. 5.
Comes now the dilemma for Democrats. Should Obama lose Iowa to Hillary, he will likely lose New Hampshire and the nomination, as well. But Hillary's victory would be tarnished. For Obama's supporters would see the Clintonites as having done him in by raising the specter of drug-dealing and planting terror in the hearts of Democrats of a dark Obama past being exposed after his nomination.
And this is exactly what Shaheen was implying might happen. But what does Shaheen know that the press and the public do not? Has the Clinton opposition research team dug into Obama's past and unearthed there scandalous matters the nation does not know?
If it has, that would disqualify Obama for the vice presidential nomination, as well -- and his huge following, now tasting victory, might take out their anger on the party that dissed him come November.
Yet, if Obama makes it to the nomination, Republicans, and the press, will now raise the issue of whether Obama, who has admitted using marijuana and perhaps cocaine, ever bought drugs for others or, more critically, sold drugs. Nor is this a trivial matter. U.S. Appellate Court Judge Douglas Ginsburg had to withdraw as Reagan's nominee to the Supreme Court after admitting to having "experimented" with marijuana and shared it with law students.
What the Clintonites have implied about Obama is far worse.
Obama is going to have to address this. And when he does, his credibility will be on the line. For unless the Clintonites have put out deliberate falsehoods, they know something we do not.
The question, "What is it?" will, if Barack is nominated, haunt Democrats to Election Day. This is a dirty trick that appears to have damaged both would-be beneficiary and intended victim.