Reefer Madness in Iowa, a New York Times op-ed piece by Maureen Dowd.
With the Iowa campaign in wild flux — and in the case of Hillary, acid reflux — The Des Moines Register decides to hold a tie-breaking debate with the two Democratic front-runners.
Carolyn Washburn, the phlegmatic editor of [The Des Moines Register], once more moderates.
WASHBURN: Senator Clinton, I’d like you to start us off by explaining why your campaign has been getting down and dirty with someone so clean and articulate?
CLINTON: I apologized to Senator Obama. I absolutely did not authorize or condone the remarks made by one of my co-chairs in New Hampshire about my distinguished colleague’s youthful indiscretions. If primary voters don’t care that he did “a little blow,” then my goodness, why should I? Even if he had packed a straw full of the white rabbit and had a snow bunny blow it in his ear, who would care, for Pete’s sake? I only wish I knew all that colorful chasing-the-dragon lingo. Senator Obama certainly has a lot of street cred, even if it isn’t Main Street. We owe it to the good people of Iowa to stick to critical issues like the economy, and how to get a fiscally responsible budget like we had in the ’90s, the ’90s, the ’90s —
WASHBURN: Snap out of it.
CLINTON: Sorry. Anyway, even if Senator Obama were still riding the snow train, I would not allow any revelations about it to sully this campaign. I’m not sure who that young man in a hoodie was that Barack was talking to outside tonight, before the debate. I’d seen the young man earlier, standing around in the shadows outside. But that’s neither here nor there. Even if I had been able to see whether any money was exchanged, or who was selling to whom, I would not allow anyone in my campaign, even that scamp Mark Penn, to use the word cocaine, cocaine, cocaine —
CLINTON: Continuing in this vein, I just want to conclude by saying, both in terms of experience and illegal substances, I am vetted. I am tested.
WASHBURN: Senator Obama, what would your priorities be as president?
OBAMA: I will pass a health care bill because I am not a polarizing person whose negatives are completely off the charts, and I’m certainly not threatening to drag down the whole party at a time when we should be killing the Republicans.
WASHBURN: Are you referring to Senator Clinton?
OBAMA: Most certainly not. I want to bring a new kind of politics to Washington that can reverse the polarizing atmosphere of the ’90s, the ’90s, the ’90s.
CLINTON: Don’t bogart the time, Barack. I’d like a hit. Carolyn, shouldn’t there be some timing device to let my young friend know when he’s going over, something that would go “BONG!”
OBAMA: I know what you’re doing, Hillary. I wasn’t born yesterday. She wants Americans to think I’m so young and green that I can only run for White House intern. It would be a stain on me to sink as low as her.
CLINTON: I don’t appreciate that crack. If you’re going to needle me, Senator —
OBAMA: In turn, I would like to reply that what this country really needs is change —
CLINTON: Change is mine now, Senator Belushi. Bill and I stole it weeks ago. Some people believe you get change by hoping for it. Some believe you get change by snorting it. I believe you get it by working hard.
WASHBURN: Can you both please describe the key features of what you consider to be the best education system in the world?
CLINTON: Well, I know that some of my supporters have been spreading gossip that Senator Obama loves the madrassa system for pre-K through terrorist training camp. But there is not a gram of truth in those accusations. We shouldn’t inject intolerance into this race.
WASHBURN: I would like to talk about the Peru free trade deal that was signed on Friday. You both missed the vote.
CLINTON: Oh, Barack should take that one. His views on Peruvian are positively flaky.
OBAMA: You’re the flaky one, Hillary, backing up the president when he wanted to rush into Iraq and wage this trillion-dollar war.
CLINTON: It’s no wonder you didn’t want to go into Iraq, Barack. There are no free bases there.
WASHBURN: All right, you two. We’re out of time. Have a Merry Christmas and —
CLINTON: And I am sure that Senator Obama is dreaming of his usual White Christmas. Hitch up the reindeer!
WASHBURN: As I was saying, a Happy New Year.
CLINTON: He gets no kick from Champagne ...
plez sez: depending on how you look at it, this could be considered to be a pro-Obama piece... but then one would wonder how the continuing to highlight Obama's use of drugs as a college student will help him in his run for the White House. even though, the "white horse" was not the indiscretion of choice for plezWorld, it would be disingenuous for me to hold such a youthful indiscretion against Obama. but i tend to wonder how he will sell this indiscretion to middle america who may be hesitant about casting a vote for a Black man in the first place. i'm glad that we don't have an "i didn't inhale" moment to bandy about - talk about lack of character and integrity (ole bill clinton must be the first person in the history of illegal drug use to have brought the reefer to his lips and didn't inhale... puh-leeze!).
i would like to see Obama pull away and win this thing, but i wonder if his admitted indiscretion will not only be fodder for op-ed satire, but also for a full-blown frontal assault by the republicans, granted he makes it out of the democrat mud-slinging contest. i don't know, these weekly spats with The Hillary may breath new life into the Edwards run, who may finally have the opening necessary to pull off a couple of early upsets in the primary races. you can't sling mud without getting a substantial amount on yourself.
the 2008 primary season began too early (spring of 2007) and has given the primary combatants too much time to raise money and bicker amongst themselves about non-issues (in plezWorld, the use of recreational drugs 20 years ago is a non-issue). i'm afraid it's going to get worse before it gets better, sort of like the new and improved expanded Christmas shopping season (it now begins around Halloween!). the 2012 race will probably begin in earnest in january of 2011... get ready.
we need to get off of smoking the political crack pipe before fall's first frost! as you can see, there are no winners, because even political crack is whack!