A while back, I concocted a pretty interesting scenario to rationally explain why Bill Clinton sort of lost it against Barack Obama a while back. To recap, I thought that challenging the caucus procedures in Nevada and antagonizing the African-American vote along with other general harshness might be telegraphing messages to Hispanics and to other Dems tired of losing over the genteel weaknesses of the Gore and Kerry campaigns in the past.
However, a very well-placed Clinton official has shared the scoop with me that Bill Clinton “lost it” when Barack Obama had asserted that Reagan had been more transformative than Clinton. That is where the “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice” comment came from. Clinton was seething deep down. So, no strategy on behalf of his wife the candidate; just revenge at that moment.
Secondly, a friend of a friend of mine went hunting last week with Cheney-target Harry Whittington who was shot just about two years ago. In fact, the two year anniversary of the cloak-and-dagger hunting accident featuring Cheney shooting his campaign contributor will be February 11th.
According to my source, Whittington commented that the press really got played by Cheney’s team not only in the delayed reporting — but in how serious Whittington’s situation really was. According to my source, he nearly died and to this day, still carries quite a few metal pellets in him. But the seriousness of his condition was underplayed by Cheney’s team and in the press.
I wonder what would have happened if Whittington had accidentally shot the VP? Let’s not go there. . .
In other news, TWN has learned that New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski — considered by his peers to be one of the best of his kind in the business — has an article soon to appear that digs into the drug past of Barack Obama.
According to one source of mine (not further confirmed), Kovaleski has found and interviewed somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 people who knew Barack Obama at Occidental College where he did his undergraduate work. According to one interviewee of Kovaleski’s, the New York Times reporter said that thus far he thinks that if anything “Barack Obama overstated his drug profile in his memoir.”
A separate couple I found on my own and who knew Barack Obama at Occidental College are New America Foundation President and New Yorker staff writer Steve Coll and his wife Susan. I asked Coll what the depth of his and his wife’s relationship with Obama was — and whether he’d seen the presidential aspirant get “wild.”
Coll told me that he was two years ahead of Barack — and his wife one year ahead — and that they were all pretty good friends. They are friends now, but at a more pronounced distance and don’t see each other much.
Coll recounted that he and Susan were impressed with Obama then and saw absolutely nothing on the drug front with him — though he can’t say the same about a lot of his other Oxy pals. He said that his one wild thing that got him a lot of accolades was his hard lobbying to get the trustees to divest Occidental College holdings from South Africa, which they did.
So, despite the rumors that some of the campaigns hope might swirl around Obama’s youthful transgressions, Kovaleski and the New York Times may soon slay further speculation on that front.
— Steve Clemons