Recently, in front of an audience of high school students in Manchester, New Hampshire, Senator Barack Obama (D.-IL) suddenly began to unload a bunch of dirty laundry. He told stories of his former drug use, of squandered opportunities in his earlier life, and of being a general "goof off" during his own high school years.
What could have motivated this senator and candidate for the White House to suddenly begin venting in such a manner? Clearly, the move did not appear, on its face, to be particularly smart political strategy. For Obama to "tell all" just as he has begun surging in the polls cannot possibly bolster his campaign, especially among those who have trepidations regarding his youth and inexperience.
What possible beneficial message could he have been offering to the students? Did he think he could help them by informing them that they could mess up their lives as much as they wanted during this period of growth, and still credibly reach for the nation's highest office once they have grown out of their youthful indiscretions?
This appears to be how his campaign is attempting to gloss over the event. Yet something far more ominous appears the more likely motivation for this erratic behavior from arguably the most stable individual among the Democrat frontrunners.
Only a few days prior, members of the Hillary Clinton camp leaked word to columnist Robert Novak that they had "scandalous information" regarding Barack Obama. To nobody's surprise, Hillary denied any knowledge or involvement in the incident, which is exactly the reaction everyone expected from her, since it has been her standard past response to many similar questionable occurrences.
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Obama believed the not-so-veiled threats of political character assault from the Clintons, and sought to diffuse the situation by coming clean prior to any pronouncements from them. In light of this episode, Obama's revelations of past baggage should come as no surprise.
Moreover, if the event did indeed represent his attempt to "tell all" before being exposed by the Arkansas Mafia, he does have a rather commendable record, at least by today's continually lowering standards. Most of the former Administration carried rap sheets, both official and unofficial, that dwarfed anything Obama felt a need to divulge.
Yet the ramifications of the event reach far beyond these particular incidents, even if they do influence the Democrat primary race. America has much more to lose than many currently realize if such is increasingly the manner in which candidacies are determined.
And despite the very predictable claims that all of this amounts to groundless speculation, consider the past track record of the Clinton political machine, and how these events align perfectly with other despicable actions by the Clinton White House that have been fully confirmed.
It should never be forgotten that, in complete contrast to the public relations ploy of asserting that the Clinton/Lewinsky debacle was "all about sex," that shameful episode tainted the governing and judicial process far beyond Clinton's morally appalling, albeit juvenile, forays in the Oval Office. Employing the power of the Executive Branch of Government, the Clintons tampered with witnesses, suborned and committed perjury, and sought to personally destroy any whose testimonies might prove damaging to them.
White House staffer Kathleen Willey, having once been assaulted by Bill Clinton in the Oval office, tells a sinister tale of harassment and intimidation that continues to this day. According to Willey, after she went public with her accusations against the former president, a stranger approached her and made threats against her children to whom he referred by name. And this unnerving encounter proved to be only one of many that ensued.
At a key moment in the Clinton impeachment debacle, Congressman and noted conservative Henry Hyde (R.-IL) was politically attacked by the Clinton surrogate "Salon.com," which divulged information of an extra-marital affair in which Hyde had participated back in the 1960s. Despite any specifics of the impeachment, that action alone stood as defining proof of the sleaze and malignancy of the Clintons and their cohorts. Yet, among most "mainstream" media types, the foul deed and the danger it posed to the governance of the nation was somehow remotely secondary to Hyde's ostensible hypocrisy.
Add to this the illegal White House possession of perhaps up to a thousand FBI files, the obvious imbalance of IRS audits of conservative individuals and organizations during the Clinton years, and the list goes on. Democrats will no doubt revert to their standard whimpering that mentioning such events merely amounts to incessantly recalling "the past," what should be apparent is that the pattern back then continues unabated. The Obama story shows it therefore to be very much a consideration of the present.
None of this should be construed as an endorsement of Obama, who is every bit the liberal that Hillary is. However, though it is altogether likely that although his political course would be just as far to the left, his means of seeing it implemented would likely be far more direct and transparent to the public. Thus, real oversight of his agenda would be a far greater possibility.
Sadly, such criminal abuse of the power of public office, while no less blatant on its face than the "cattle futures" affair, has never been properly pursued and punished. If only the current administration showed even a fraction of the zeal that Democrat partisans have displayed in their pursuit of Scooter Libby, perhaps America would not be facing such an ominous possibility for its next chief executive.
As it is, any opponent, from either party, must possess an absolutely spotless record in order to be immune from such attacks. Otherwise, be ready for the Clinton smear machine to be brought down upon them. But America should ask itself, while there is still time, if this is the manner in which it wants its future to be determined.
Copyright ©2007 Christopher G. Adamo